Not even he could coax a win out of Portland's current mish-mash lineup. But that won't stop him from grousing to the referees tonight. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Game Time: 5:30 p.m. TV: CSNNW
The San Antonio Spurs (47-16) play the Portland Trail Blazers (doesn't matter-who cares) in their final home game of the season tonight. San Antonio has won 7 straight and an amazing 21 of their last 24. The Blazers couldn't win if you spotted them 15 points at the tip. The last two games they've started Hasheem Thabeet and Nolan Smith. The rotation includes heavy doses of Jonny Flynn, Luke Babbitt, and now Kurt Thomas. The only two guys still suiting up who played in Portland's regular rotation this year are Wesley Matthews and Jamal Crawford. If the Blazers somehow managed to beat the Spurs--now atop the conference and dogfighting with the Chicago Bulls for the best record in the league with a great chance to win out--it would be worthy of the greatest Nelson Muntz "Ha Ha!" ever.
So let's dispense with the pre-gamery and ask a question as we wait like lambs for the sl...I mean as we await the Tiger Blood Blazers to summon the power of their Adonis DNA and crush the favored-but-overconfident Spurs while yelling a blood-curdling, "Winning!"
Tony Parker is 29 years old and still going strong: good scoring, great assists, nice shooting percentage, everything he's always brought to the table except maybe the deep shooting. Let's pretend the Spurs wanted to rebuild after this one last great run with the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili core. Let's say they were forward-thinking, realizing that a slow march to mediocrity was in their future if they kept that group together. Let's also say that they eyeballed Parker's $12.5 million salary for each of the three seasons following this one and said, "We'll pay Ginobili for one more year but we're not paying Parker for three without teammates around him." Would you be comfortable with the Blazers offering one or both of their upcoming draft picks and/or a player like Wesley Matthews or eventually (assuming he re-signed) Nicolas Batum for Parker? What would be your limit?
Discuss the game or the conditions of our hypothetical trade below.