The Spurs' season came to an early conclusion on Wednesday evening as they fell to the Thunder 107-99 in Oklahoma City. The loss marked the second consecutive season in which the team finished with the best regular season record in the Western Conference but failed to reached the NBA Finals. With an aging roster and Tim Duncan's pending free agency, the Spurs face a summer of slight uncertainty heading into the 2012/2013 season. Here's the latest news and notes out of San Antonio…
- While the Spurs lack the type of salary cap space required to sign a marquee free agent, the team will have the full mid-level exception at their disposal this offseason, writes Zach Lowe of SI.com. Erazem Lorbek, acquired from the Pacers in the George Hill trade, could be a target for the Spurs as the Slovenian big man has been playing well for Ricky Rubio's former team in Spain. Other top teams such as the Lakers, Bulls and Heat will only have the mini mid-level exception available as they attempt to reload during free agency.
- Lowe says to look for the Spurs to re-sign Duncan this summer as San Antonio will attempt another run at the NBA title with the same key pieces in place. The team could also look to shed salary by using the amnesty clause to rid themselves of Matt Bonner's $3.6MM contract but are unlikely to do so unless they have interest in pursuing a particular free agent that fits into their scheme.
- Gregg Popovich told the media on Thursday that he expects Kawhi Leonard to be with the Spurs for a long time and for Duncan to return to the team next season, says Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (via Twitter here and here). When speaking about Leonard, Popovich said, "He’s somebody who is hopefully going to be a Spur for a long, long time."