Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Spurs sign Ray Allen and Andrei Kirilenko.

After taking a look at available free agents, the San Antonio Spurs have agreed with veteran sharpshooter Ray Allen on a one-year contract.

Allen previously played for the Miami Heat during both NBA Finals encounters between the two teams. The clutch marksman should fit in nicely with the defending champions and will hopefully knock down big shots for the Spurs, instead of against them.

In need of an adequate backup small forward, the Spurs also reached a deal with Andrei Kirilenko, whose best years were with the Utah Jazz. The versatile Russian, nickname "AK-47", will keep defense a priority whenever Kawhi Leonard is off the floor, something that the Spurs have needed. After bouncing around to the Minnesota Timberwolves, Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, "AK-47" voiced a desire to end his career in his native Russia--until the offer came along from the defending NBA Champions.

These two acquisitions bring the Spurs roster to 14, after bringing back Tiago Splitter (C) after obliging Kevin Garnett's (PF) request to "return home" to the Timberwolves and Boris Diaw (PF) after losing Luis Scola (PF) and Marco Belinelli (SG) to free agency. Here are the players.

Starting Lineup:

C/Tiago Splitter
PF/Tim Duncan
SF/Kawhi Leonard
SG/Ray Allen
PG/Tony Parker

Second Unit:

C/Jeff Ayres
PF/Boris Diaw
SF/Andrei Kirilenko
SG/Danny Green
PG/Manu Ginobili

Tyrus Thomas (PF)
Austin Daye (SF/C)
Ray Macallum (PG)
Glen Davis (C/PF)

An interesting change comes with Manu Ginobili, who will try a new role as the backup point guard, having previously won Sixth Man of the Year as the best bench player on the team. A good ball handler and pick-and-roll leader, Ginobili should be able to thrive in this new role, which became available once the Spurs decided to not seek a backup point guard in free agency.

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