The Spurs’ offseason was largely uneventful, as the only new additions to the main roster have been rookies Devin Vassell and Tre Jones. San Antonio also re-signed Jakob Poeltl and Drew Eubanks and guaranteed Trey Lyles’ contract to retain its big man depth, but it didn’t do much else.
In that context, the departures take on a bigger dimension. Chimezie Metu played too little to be considered a big loss, but Marco Belinelli and especially Bryn Forbes had sizable roles that will have to be filled by others. Whether those getting their minutes represent a big upgrade or not could determine the Spurs’ ceiling.
It’s tempting — although honestly, not entirely inaccurate — to say that losing Forbes and Belinelli could easily represent addition by subtraction. Forbes had one of the worst net ratings in the league among starters while Belinelli, who is now out of the NBA, was maddeningly inconsistent as an outside shooter, his only skill. Both were a disaster at defense, which means the Spurs should improve going forward on that end now that they are gone if for no other reason than because they will have more size and athleticism at the guard and wing spots, even if the young guys are still not savvy enough to utilize those physical tools to their full potential.
The problem could come at the other end, as Forbes and Belinelli provided something that most of the players expected to take on their minutes will likely struggle to replicate: shooting.