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This Could be the Spurs’ Starting Five Next Season: 2016 Edition

By Trace Ronning on June 30, 2016.

Here’s the deal: free agency season in the NBA is about to begin, and the Spurs are rumored to be interested in several players. Every team is rumored to be interested in several players. Every single franchise in the league is confirmed to be interested in Kevin Durant. Kevin Durant is only interested in six teams, and for some reason that list includes the New York Knicks.

So, interest means nothing and nothing means anything. It’s a free-for-all. And when it’s all over, blood, guts, loyalty, money, adult beverages and dignity will stain the streets of basketball cities across the United States and southern Ontario.

Some players will sign with new teams. Unexpected teams, even! Some players won’t go anywhere. Some players will retire. Some players will be forced to retire. And despite your greatest tweets, Facebook rants, and comments on articles in the Express News, San Antonio will make some moves you don’t agree with. You’ll live with it, because by now you surely understand that R.C. Buford is a genius, right?

What moves the Spurs can or will make remain to be seen, and in the meantime we’re left with a lot of rumors, some of which are completely unsubstantiated. Other rumors have legs, but feel even more farfetched than the ones that seem fake. All I know is that the Spurs are linked with several players looking for an NBA team to play with in 2016-17.

With that in mind, let’s play a fun game called “This Could be the Spurs’ Starting Five Next Season.”

This game is pretty straight forward: just put together five players that somehow could be starting for the Spurs next season.

(Photo credit: Edward A. Ornelas /San Antonio Express-News)

(Photo credit: Edward A. Ornelas /San Antonio Express-News)

The “HOW DID THE SPURS GET THE BEST FREE AGENT AVAILABLE TWO YEARS RUNNING?!” Starting Five

  • Tony Parker
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • Kevin Durant
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Tim Duncan

Tim Duncan for sure comes back if the Spurs sign KD this offseason. Not only does he volunteer to play for free, but he donates his salary to Kevin Durant to help bring him on board. Manu Ginobili comes off the bench, but after that, things get pretty risky. The Coyote might end up having to be the 12th man, but San Antonio will still be the favorites to win a title.

The “Wait, Wut?” Starting Five

  • Dwyane Wade
  • Danny Green
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Pau Gasol

Dwyane Wade put “feelers” out to the Spurs, so I guess this is possible? Let’s see how fellow SpursDynasty writer Stephen feels about it. This wouldn’t be the worst starting five, but it would be the weirdest. A starting Spurs lineup with only one homegrown player? A starting Spurs lineup devoid of a single San Antonio draft pick? (Okay, yes, I know the Kawhi thing is just semantics, but give me this for the sake of argument.) This is madness.

The “Pragmatist’s Wet Dream” Starting Five

  • Mike Conley
  • Danny Green
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Pau Gasol

Despite the Spurs’ interest in Conley being “overstated,” the team will at least check him out. Is Tony Parker on this team? Great question. If the Spurs do bring on Conley, does Parker start with Conley coming off the bench? He’d be a hell of a sixth man. This would be a very fun, very Spurs-like Spurs team. The kind of Spurs team that the men of the Awkward Dad Dance Cam would be proud to cheer for.

The “I-35 All-Stars” Starting Five

  • Tony Parker
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Dirk Nowitzki
  • Tim Duncan

This would be a terrible lineup, and not just because Nowitzki and Duncan both came into the league before people were scared of Y2K destroying the universe. I just think that starting three power forwards is probably not a great basketball idea. I also don’t think that Nowitzki leaves Dallas, but Tim Cowlishaw writes that it isn’t an impossible idea, so here you go.

The “Oh Great Another Aging Center” Starting Five

  • Tony Parker
  • Danny Green
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Al Horford

I don’t have anything mean to say about Al Horford, but he doesn’t get me super excited either. He very well could be a better option than Pau Gasol, but the fact that Horford has spent his entire career playing for the Atlanta Hawks means I haven’t seen enough meaningful Al Horford minutes to gauge anything about his game.

The “Angry French Dressing” Starting Five

  • Tony Parker
  • Danny Green
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Joakim Noah

Joakim Noah is expected to sign with the Knicks, but some website I’ve never heard of thinks that San Antonio is pretty much a lock to acquire Noah’s services this offseason. The Internet is a great place.

The “Same Ol’ Spurs” Starting Five

  • Tony Parker
  • Danny Green
  • Kawhi Leonard
  • LaMarcus Aldridge
  • Tim Duncan

This is still a pretty realistic starting five for San Antonio, even if they sign some quality free agents this summer. The Spurs could land Conley, Gasol, or Horford in the offseason and still trot out the same starting five as last year. You know, the starting five that led the team to 67 wins. Give last season’s team some bench depth in the playoffs and you’ve got to think they’d have at least made the Western Conference Finals.

For what it’s worth, I Googled “Harrison Barnes Spurs” just to see if anyone made up a rumor about San Antonio making a pitch to the hot and cold Golden State forward. This is what I found. Bless you all, Redditors.

Thanks for playing “This Could be the Spurs’ Starting Five Next Season”. Free agency starts on Friday. Let the games begin!