The San Antonio Spurs are the NBA poster child for stability, for many reasons. A smart yet firm front office, led by R.C. Buford, is one of the more prominent characteristics. The last few offseason swings, however, have reportedly prompted the Spurs to shake things up.
According to Jabari Young of The Athletic, General Manager R.C. Buford is preparing to step down and give his role to assistant GM Brian Wright. Buford has spent that last 15 years in the Spurs front office. Wright will report directly to Buford, who will also get a new role within the organization. Some speculated to Young that Buford will take on a role directing Spurs Sports & Entertainment.
Last offseason, San Antonio was hit with its first real free agent adversity when Kawhi Leonard requested a trade. Then, just a few weeks ago, Marcus Morris got out of his contract with San Antonio and left for the New York Knicks. In a strange twist, Morris also fired his agent Rich Paul following the change of heart. The Spurs also traded Davis Bertans to help make room for Morris, a stinging loss considering how the move fell apart and leaves San Antonio with neither player.
Wright, who was hired in 2016 from the Detroit Pistons, has been handling some of the free agency duties already. Young reports that the 36-year-old led the negotiations to re-sign Rudy Gay and assisted in the sign-and-trade for DeMarre Carroll and trade of Davis Bertans. The Spurs are, expectedly, still in good hands.
The NBA is a changing field, with player empowerment a driving force in free agent decisions and plans. San Antonio was first victim to this with Leonard, and now Morris this time around to a lesser extent. The Spurs have managed dominate with less, namely because of Gregg Popovich and R.C. Buford effectively managing the team. Now, in an altered NBA where no player is safe from wanting out, regardless of their contract, San Antonio must adapt. Their belief is a change in the front office is the first step in that evolution.