Do the Spurs Even Need Neal?

Guard Gary Neal’s status with the team is still in limbo but do the Spurs, after recent signings, still even need the combo guard?

The San Antonio Spurs have made several signings early this offseason. The team addressed frontline needs and backcourt holes. Currently though the Spurs haven’t signed the combo guard Gary Neal, who has played well for the team the last couple of seasons. Neal, for his skill-set, is a great bargain and has hit huge shots for the Spurs.            

The Spurs’ may now have hesitation because the signing of free-agent Marco Belinelli, he is an similar guard but a better overall player. He is a quicker defender and can drive the basketball better than Neal. His ball handling skills also would be an asset to the Spurs’ backcourt. The team has had some questionable ball-handlers come off the bench the last couple seasons.            

Belinelli can bring what Neal brought and some more looking at his track record. The Spurs are now loaded at the two-guard position with Belinelli, Ginobili, and Green and all three players have better upside than Neal.            

So where does Neal fit in? His back-up point guard skills are average at best and his game is more suited for the shooting guard position anyway. Even if Neal could deliver at point guard, the Spurs are strangely loaded at that position as well. Younger players like Corey Joseph, Nando De Colo, and Patty Mills will be fighting for playing time.            

Neal has upheld his end of the deal as a Spurs’ role player though, but the team may not be able to afford to give him a roster spot with other needs not met. The Spurs still could use a backup small forward and even another big man in the middle.                       

Neal is caught in the middle, he isn’t bad enough to get completely ignored by the team but he isn’t quite good enough to gain immediate attention either. 

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