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Spurs' long-term hopes fading as fast as short-term ones

Feb 24, 2010, 11:26 AM EDT

I almost headlined this sucker “Spurs are doomed, thanks for asking.” I’m not trying to overreact to the last month 3 months 6 months, but it’s hard to ignore the very real situation that’s developing in the Spurs’ organization. Namely, if the future is now, they’re in trouble, and if the future is later, they’re in trouble, too.

For now, let’s focus on those long-term prospects. Richard Jefferson has a player option he’ll almost assuredly pick up for $15 million next season.He’ll be an expiring contract, which means he’s movable, but getting out from under that rock won’t be the easiest thing in the world. Even if the Spurs sign no draft picks, and re-sign no players (including franchise stable Manu Ginobili), they’ll still be on the books for $54 million, which may actually be over a reduced-cap.

Then you have to look at the guys that were supposed to cement the future. Like Tiago Spllitter. The Spurs have been waiting on Splitter for years, and now are discovering that Real Madrid in Spain may make an offer. If Splitter isn’t with the Spurs next year, the franchise could be in dire straights, even with Tim Duncan and Tony Parker still around.

We say this, but then, if the Spurs do get it together and make a playoff push, ownership could decide it’s worth it to keep spending in the luxury tax and keep the band together. But if not, R.C. Buford and Popovich are going to have to pull a mighty fine rabbit out of the hat.

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