View Full Version : Spurs could've had Josh Howard...

06-04-2005, 01:33 PM
Link (http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/basketball/nba/spurs/stories/MYSA060305.1D.COL.BKNharvey.2d75f4fa2.html)

I never thought about this before. Wow, that would have been pretty awesome...(from my point of view, that is). i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

Buck Harvey: Spurs put screws to smallest moves

Web Posted: 06/03/2005 12:00 AM CDT

San Antonio Express-News

Tim Duncan likes to kid about it still, and he did last month. Stretching at practice, he asked one of the Spurs' execs if he'd seen the Dallas game the night before.

Translation: See Josh Howard, who also went to Wake Forest, starring for the Mavericks now, who we passed over in the draft?

And then Duncan went back to stretching, an innocent look on his face.

But Duncan knows what has happened, and why his franchise put together a sequence of moves, and how these seemingly small moves were in place Wednesday night in Phoenix.

Translation: Duncan got the help he needs.

Coach Gregg Popovich addressed that when asked how the Spurs have achieved three NBA Finals in this run. Then Popovich flatly gave all credit to Duncan and David Robinson, and he added emphasis.

"What we have done really well is," Popovich said, "we haven't screwed it up."

They perhaps came close in the summer of 2003. Then the Spurs, trying to clear cap space to make a run at Jason Kidd, drafted a Brazilian point guard named Leandro Barbosa and traded him to the Suns for a protected future first-round choice.

It was a pre-arranged deal. Phoenix told the Spurs which player they wanted, and the Spurs shrugged. They had little interest in Barbosa.

Going after Kidd was the gamble with a lot of screw-up potential. Had he agreed to come to San Antonio, after all, would Manu Ginobili have been forced to sign elsewhere last summer?

Besides, by not using the draft pick then, the Spurs also passed on a player who both Popovich and Duncan liked.


Kidd opted to stay in New Jersey. Barbosa showed some potential. Howard showed far more in Dallas. And a year ago the Spurs used their own first-round slot on another point guard, Beno Udrih.

At this point Duncan could still kid, but with some bite.

But then came something else last February. Then the Spurs began to talk about a trade with the Knicks, and Isiah Thomas wanted draft picks.

This gets complicated, but here's the gist: Because of league rules, the Spurs couldn't trade their own first-round picks in consecutive years, and they wanted to keep this June's choice because the draft is deep.

In short, the pick obtained in the Barbosa trade made it happen. The Spurs gave the Knicks that choice, another of their own and Malik Rose.

In return they got Nazr Mohammed, as well as the kind of payroll flexibility that can absorb the salaries of Ginobili, Duncan and Tony Parker. The Suns envy that position today, since they wonder how they can pay Joe Johnson this summer.

Before anointing the Suns as the next rising power, consider: Shawn Marion has a maximum contract, Steve Nash is close and Amare Stoudemire will get one. How can they add to their already thin roster?

It's also become clear Mohammed is worth much more than financial flexibility. He's started every game this postseason, and sometimes he's been a bull. No matter if Detroit or Miami is next, Mohammed and Rasho Nesterovic will give the Spurs the depth and size they haven't had before.

Just not screwing things up?

Another answer came Wednesday, when the small moves became bigger. Then the backup, international point guards of the Western Conference finalists were on display.

Barbosa didn't play a minute for the fourth time in the five-game series. Meanwhile, four Suns played more than 40 minutes again, and one of them was Nash.

He sagged in the second half, and an explanation is obvious. Fresher Spurs hounded him. Udrih subbed for Parker and played 10 solid minutes, and it also didn't hurt that Udrih went 3 for 3 with a couple of 3-pointers.

For a rookie on a tense playoff night: Isn't this the stuff Parker and Ginobili had shown before?

But Udrih is just part of the equation. The Spurs targeted him, not Barbosa, just as the Spurs dealt for Mohammed, just as they found a way to cleanse their payroll.

Translation: As Duncan heads toward another Finals with the possibility of even more in years to come, he has reason to joke.

06-04-2005, 04:54 PM
24 other teams could have picked Howard.

06-05-2005, 04:19 PM
Originally posted by: jayC
24 other teams could have picked Howard.

Scary. True, but scary.

06-06-2005, 12:04 PM
Clips, Rockets, Bulls, Warriors, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Cavs and Knicks all could have had Amare.

Toronto, Denver and Detroit all could have had Dwyane Wade

Tony Parker was the last pick in the 1first round in 2001. Sammy Dalembert was 26th.

Joe Johnson was picked 3 picks after DeSagana Diop

its fun to look at all those blown picks.

The article is pretty much spilled milk though. San Antonio, as much as they goofed by picking the young Brazilian point, really have made impecable choices in the draft. Tony Paker with the last pick in the first round. Manu Ginobli who was 1 pick away from becoming an undrafted free-agent. Even Beno is providing something for them. They are one of the best teams in the league at picking well and getting players to play up to their level.

06-07-2005, 03:33 AM
Tim Duncan liked him for obvious reasons. Wonder if the main reason was because of his basketball skills and he went to Wake Forest like Duncan. Think I answered my own question lol. But man would that have been scary if they would have got him.

06-07-2005, 10:12 AM
Howard in Back and White....that is just too perfect to even think about....