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San Antonio Quietly Keeps Roster Intact

As NBA teams scurried about attempting to sign free agents and make blockbuster trades to improve their rosters, the recently crowned NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs quietly improved their roster by re-signing players on their current roster that could have left to play elsewhere.

The best offseason by any team in the NBA did not involve a big media blitz or news conference and it came to a conclusion with a simple email on a Tuesday morning from the San Antonio Spurs announcing that they had re-signed Boris Diaw.

 If a team has the immediate goal of winning the NBA Championship in 2015, then there is no better start than keeping the roster of the 2014 champions intact.

San Antonio did not go out and make a huge headline-grabbing move during the offseason as the Cleveland Cavaliers did with the return of their hometown hero LeBron James.

The Spurs only made a few announcements in a low-key manner that four of the important parts to their NBA title team are returning: Diaw, Patty Mills, Tim Duncan and Gregg Popovich.

The bottom line is whether it is better to have a team with LeBron adapting to a completely new set of teammates or a team that has just defeated LeBron in 4 out of 5 games in the NBA Finals by a combined 70 points.

It is true that with his return to Cleveland, LeBron changed the balance of power in the Eastern Conference overnight and transformed the city of Cleveland into a contender.

San Antonio did not need to transform, they stayed with what has worked, just as they did during last year’s offseason when they re-signed both Tiago Splitter and Manu Ginobili.

While Cleveland did dramatically improve, other teams lost players during the offseason. The Indiana Pacers lost guard Lance Stephenson who signed with the Charlotte Hornets. He was second on the team in scoring and rebounding during the playoffs and the team leader in assists.

Stephenson’s addition to Charlotte would have been that much more important to the team if the Hornets had not lost Josh McRoberts, who was one on the team’s most versatile players.

Toronto was able to re-sign Kyle Lowry and brought two other players Greivis Vasquez and Patrick Patterson back, which means the Raptors will be strong again next season.

Washington was able to re-sign big man Marcin Gortat, but lost Trevor Ariza when he signed with Houston. However, the Wizards added Paul Pierce who will help make up for the loss of Ariza.

Now time will tell how the upcoming 2014-15 season will play out with new faces in many new places, while some faces have remained familiar.

The Spurs nucleus might be another year older, but they have another year’s experience of playing together and do not have to find themselves as a unit.

LeBron will likely add 20 wins to the Cavaliers next season, but will his supporting cast work enough as a unit to hold off the rest of the powers in the East and the very deep Western Conference?

That remains to be seen.

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