NBA Free Agents: Why the San Antonio Spurs Need to Sign Gilbert Arenas

Cody CurrieCorrespondent IIJanuary 14, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - JANUARY 28: Gilbert Arenas #1 of the Orlando Magic moves against Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on January 28, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls defeated the Magic 99-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

There was a time when Gilbert Arenas was one of the most feared scorers in the NBA.  In back-to-back seasons (05-06 and 06-07) he averaged 29 PPG and 28 PPG respectively.  

Now, he is without a team.

He was traded to the Orlando Magic midway through last season, but he struggled once he arrived averaging just 8 PPG and 3 APG.  Prior to the start of this season he was released via the amnesty clause by the Magic and has yet to be signed to a team. 

The Spurs lost guard Manu Ginobli to a broken hand.  His loss comes at an inopportune time for the Spurs who are in what is likely their last season as a legitimate championship contender.  Also, Ginobli was off to a great start to the season and this injury kills his momentum for the rest of the year.

The Spurs are in need of depth at guard and Arenas would be an ideal pickup if he can regain the form he had at the beginning of last season when he averaged 17 PPG for the Wizards.  

The Spurs are starting Kawhi Leonard at shooting guard and while he is a good defender, he is not a consistent threat on offense and has a poor shot from long range. Gary Neal can start but without him coming off the bench, the Spurs lack scoring punch in their second unit.

Arenas would provide the Spurs with a proven scorer off the bench or in the starting lineup as well as a guy who can facilitate the offense and create shots for himself and others.  

If he can play at a high level, teams would find it difficult to defend a backcourt of Tony Parker and Arenas; both have the ability to penetrate the lane and score in the paint.  

Pair that with the eventual return of Ginobli later this season and the Spurs would have one of the deepest and most explosive backcourts in the NBA.  

He would have to agree to make significantly less money than he has been making the past several years, but his addition would really be a no-lose scenario for the Spurs.  

If he comes in and doesn't play well, the Spurs don't lose anything, but if he plays anywhere near the level he played during his prime he would be an excellent addition for this aging Spurs team and may be enough to propel them to a deep playoff run.