Words by Jason Cordner

The Spurs had one of the more confounding off seasons in the league. While their main Western Conference rivals significantly added to their rosters, they primarily stood pat. They had intended to go hard after Chris Paul in free agency after Pau Gasol opted out of his deal to make more cap space, but ended up with recent G Leaguer Brandon Paul instead.

They didn’t seem to know quite what they would do next after missing out on their top target and Rudy Gay, who is coming off a torn achilles, ended up being their most impactful addition. They also added Joffrey Lauvergne and rookie Derrick White, and re-signed Gasol to a questionably rich contract. Meanwhile, the Spurs lost Jonathon Simmons and Dewayne Dedmon, two key contributors on the rotation last year.

Player To Watch : Kawhi Leonard

Kawhi needs to be healthy. Aldridge needs to take a step forward — or backward, to when he was putting up 20-10 games in his sleep with the Trail Blazers. Gay needs to fit in seamlessly. The Spurs role players need to step up, which they usually do. And Parker needs to be able to give them something when he comes back from injury.

Leonard was an MVP finalist last season, and many have made the case that he deserved the award over Russell Westbrook given his team’s success and his ability to play both ends of the court.

Predictions

For The Spurs organization success is measured in one way and one way only: Championships! Kawhi needs to be healthy. Aldridge needs to take a step forward — or backward, to when he was putting up 20-10 games in his sleep with The Trail Blazers. Gay needs to fit in seamlessly. The Spurs role players need to step up, which they usually do.

The Spurs won 61 games last season , but the Western Conference has gotten much more difficult. Look for the Spurs to win 53-55 games and be in the top 4 of the Western Conference standings.