As the NBA season approaches, the San Antonio Spurs will look quite odd without Tim Duncan in uniform. Life without Tim Duncan, who spent 19-years with the franchise, won’t be the same for the Spurs. But the culture of excellence that he built should allow the Spurs to continue on being successful.

As soon as free agency started, the Spurs immediately signed All-Star Pau Gasol to be Duncan’s replacement. Gasol brings a veteran presence and should be a capable mentor to Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge. Kawhi Leonard is still part of the Spurs’s core, along with Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.

Despite retaining their core players and adding Gasol, the San Antonio Spurs may still seek to retool their roster. Adding more veterans and another big name player will certainly help challenge Golden State’s super-team.

During a recent interview in ESPN’s First Take, basketball analyst Jalen Rose mentioned that the Spurs would be an ideal destination for Westbrook. Given the Spurs’ culture and the chance of playing alongside Leonard and Aldridge, Westbrook will immediately join a championship team. However, Rose later on admitted that it would be quite difficult for the rival franchises to agree on a deal, given San Antonio’s cap space and lack of young assets.

A more realistic goal for the Spurs is to sign NBA veterans in order to mentor their young core. Brandon Bass, an 11-year veteran, could have been a possible addition to the Spurs’ roster. Bass would have served as Aldridge’s primary backup. His reliable midrange game and shot blocking presence could have filled a void in the Spurs’ second unit. However, the chance of adding the serviceable big man failed to push through as Bass decided to sign with the LA Clippers.

Regardless of who the Spurs pursue next, they will always pose as a threat to challenge Golden State’s reign in the West.

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