It's the third edition of In the Bonus the staff looks at a potential Ray Allen signing, considers their least-favorite players, and evaluates the Pelicans' playoff chances.
1. Reports came out this week that the Spurs have joined the Ray Allen hunt. Does this make sense?
J. Gomez: It does, in the sense that you can never have too many shooters. Allen wasn't nearly the marksman Marco Belinelli was last season but not many players were. And Allen's reputation makes defenders stick a little closer to him than they would other guys, which opens up room for his teammates.
Michael Erler: It makes sense only if A) Ginobili's rehab is so behind schedule that they need another backup SG or that they're having similar issues with Mills and want to use Ginobili as the backup point guard. I can see where having another shooter back there would come in handy in light of those issues, sure. But Allen is kind of a horrible defender and they already have one of those with Marco.
Bruno Passos: Allen would bring some reliable firepower to the second unit and, with Patty out for the beginning of the season, would definitely be an asset to the team. I also think he fits in with SA than with the Clippers, given the way the Spurs' ball movement and spacing opens things up for shooters. Plus, it's always good to have a guy on the floor that the defense absolutely has to account for.
Taylor Young: I don't see a spot on the floor where he gets minutes. He can't take Green's minutes because he's not a good defender and why would the Spurs disrupt the continuity of the team by giving him Marco or Manu's minutes. At this stage in his career I'm not sure that he's a better three point shooter than the Spurs other gunslingers.
Wilco: Well, does it make sense to bring in a veteran with a legendary work ethic who has a long history of excelling in championship environments and coming through in the clutch? When I imagine Danny Green and Allen pushing each other in their very own special practice sessions, I get a warm feeling inside. But that feeling quickly vanishes when I think about a past-his-prime Allen struggling to play defense. Gotta assume that Pop has an idea of how to implement him in a way that won't be too detrimental.
2. As a Spurs fan could you stomach a Ray Allen signing?
Gomez: Sure. I had probably watched game six seven or eight times a week after the finals ended, because I am a masochist. But by doing that, I made my peace with it earlier than most, well before the Spurs got vengeance this past season. I'm not excited about Allen joining; he's injury insurance at this point. But I wouldn't hate it if he would.
Erler: They won it in 2014. They got another one. I'm good now. The "fan boy" part of me is sated forever. The team is on scholarship. I can stomach just about anything.
Passos: About as easily as the last AT&T Center hot dog I had, but I think I could live with it.
Young: If this was last summer I'd feel like I was being cheated on with the person who just stole my job, ran over my dog and burned my village. This summer? I've got a 2014 championship Spurs, hat and (horrible) DVD. Why should I not be able to stomach it? All is well.
Wilco: I've never really hated Allen the way some Spurs fans do. I've always had one of those grudging-respect things for him like I did with Shane Battier for so long. If he can help the team, I'm for the signing.
3. Besides Derek Fisher, who would be the last player you'd ever want to see in a Spurs uniform?
Gomez: The obvious answer for me is Jason Terry. I just can't stand Eugene. But who can? So I'll go with Chris Paul instead. He's a top five player, top ten at worst. And yet I'm not sure I could root for him. The flopping itself doesn't bother me as much as the fact that he's terrible at it. And he always struck me as a guy who knew the mannerisms people associate with leadership and emulated them as opposed to truly being a leader. The fact that he's involved with the players' union moved him up a couple of spots in my likability ranking. But he is still near the bottom.
Passos: There are some guys that I don't like from the perspective of a Spurs fan, and some that I don't like simply because of their style of play. As far as current players go, Dwyane Wade and Kevin Garnett tick both boxes.
Young: Jason Terry. It hurt to watch him become a champion in 2011 and my blood boiled each time he "jetted" around the court when he was with Dallas.
Wilco: Without question, this conversation begins and ends with Kevin Garnett. But Jason Terry gets a (dis)honorable mention.
4. With Anthony Davis dominating the World Cup, the Pelicans are all of a sudden a thing to talk about. Do the Pelicans ride the Brow Surge into the playoffs in the West? If so, what West incumbent do they unseat?
Gomez: No playoffs for the Pelicans. Not this year. The West is too competitive and their hole at small forward is just too gaping. I'm a bigger Tyreke Evans fan than most but until he can become a league-average spot up shooter or develops cutting instincts he can't play off the ball. And John Salmons is never the answer. If they ever get a good 3-and-D guy, though, they would be scary.
Erler: Yeah, the acquisition of Omer Asik should help Davis out defensively and if they can get healthy seasons out of Anderson and Holiday, they should contend for the playoffs. As for the matter of who they push out, I'd guess the Rockets.
Passos: Davis is the real deal, but I'm not sure they're making the jump next season -- especially with the West still tough and Phoenix looking better. If I had to pick a team to drop, though, I'd go with Houston. Weak bench, and they're leaning on Trevor Ariza a lot more than any team should.
Young: I predicted before 2014 that the Grizzlies would miss the postseason and was barely a year too early on that. ZBo is becoming less and less the 2011 wrecking ball he once was and the team becomes more unequipped to shoot the ball. I think the Pelicans gelling, the Brow's rise and a bit of luck on the health front pit them as the 8 seed with Memphis missing out. It'll come down to the wire though.
Wilco: The West is so crazy-strong that it's really hard to see anyone breaking past last year's top eight teams unless one of them really regresses, which I don't see happening. That said, New Orleans should be no lower than 9th next year.
5. True or False. The Rockets traded for Jason Terry just to upset Spurs fans?
Gomez: False. The Rockets traded for Terry because Daryl Morey and Mark Cuban hate each other. Both front offices went after Gortat but he re-signed with the Magic. Then both went after Dwight Howard and the Rockets got him. So Dallas stole Chandler Parsons from under the Rockets, embarrassing Morey. As retaliation, Houston went after Mavs' fan favorite Terry. It's only a matter of time before Cubes sets up a new analytics conference to compete with MIT Sloan's.
Erler: See number four.
Passos: Upset? Now they've got Harden, Dwight and JET all on one team. Any time I can funnel a that large a portion of my fan-hate in one direction, I'm all for it! At this stage in his career, Terry's little more than a groin-punching albatross. So... false?
Young: True. Jason Terry is the worst, as I previously mentioned. Morey is secretly an internet troll who became a GM for one of the Spurs rivals. I bet Morey has a SpursTalk account and regularly gets those guys riled up.
Wilco: False. The thought of any GM signing a player in order to tweak a rival's fans would be utterly ridiculous if anyone besides Morey and Terry were involved. Ok, it's even ridiculous with them too.
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