Posted: Wednesday January 17, 2007 1:08PM; Updated: Wednesday January 17, 2007 1:08PM
San Antonio is said to be interested in Corey Maggette, whose athleticism and scoring ability would help the veteran-laden Spurs.
Marty Burns will periodically answer questions from SI.com users in his mailbag.
For now, Maggette seems to be their best option. The 6-foot-6 slasher would give San Antonio a wing scorer and somebody to match up with Dallas' Josh Howard. He also gets to the foul line and makes his free throws. The question is whether Maggette be willing to play defense and share the ball with Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili.
While not addressing the Maggette rumors directly, Horry said the Spurs would welcome a trade if the player was the right fit.
"If he meshes with the team," he said. "You always welcome new talent if he can help you out. But don't bring in somebody just because they're young. If they don't know how to play game, they're not going to help."
Popovich surely agrees, which might be why he is playing it cool right now in regard to personnel moves. While word around the NBA is that the Spurs are looking for help, the coach continues to preach patience. He notes that he is still trying to find the right combinations, especially with injuries to Francisco Elson (shoulder) and Matt Bonner (knee), and that the goal is to be playing at peak level in March and April.
He also notes that if San Antonio hadn't suffered that Game 7 overtime loss to the Mavs in the conference finals a year ago, nobody would be doubting the Spurs right now.
"We gave that game away," Popovich said. "If [Ginobili's foul at the end of regulation] hadn't been committed, and we win the game, everybody would have talked about how beautifully those experienced Spurs players executed. But we lost, so it must be [that] we're getting old."
While Popovich makes a good point about media and fan overreaction, the fact is the Spurs are relying on aging veterans like Horry, Michael Finley and Brent Barry. Meanwhile, the NBA continues to become a faster game with more teams using small lineups. Rules changes have made it increasingly difficult for clubs like the Spurs to slow the tempo into a half-court game and take advantage of a dominant low-post scorer. San Antonio has tried to adjust this season, bringing in Elson and Bonner, but it might not be enough.
It would be foolish to count out Duncan and the Spurs just yet. But it sure seems as if San Antonio could use a big shot of athleticism and, yes, maybe even some flash. Even if Big Shot Rob says otherwise.