5 Teams That Could Use Tim Duncan Next Season

Garrett Jochnau@@GarrettJochnauCorrespondent IIApril 10, 2012

5 Teams That Could Use Tim Duncan Next Season

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    San Antonio Spurs power forward Tim Duncan is finishing his final season of his current contract, and after the season comes to a close, Duncan will be an unrestricted free agent.

    After 15 seasons as the Spurs' center piece, it would be very surprising to see Duncan donning a uniform other than the famous black and silver. However, with a little juice left in the tank, Duncan has a lot to offer to teams who are just one move away from being a future contender.

    While it may be surprising for the future Hall of Famer to leave Texas, it would not be surprising if other teams made a run at the legendary big man.

Cleveland Cavaliers

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    A new era has risen in Cleveland. 

    After superstar LeBron James took his talents to South Beach and abandoned the Cavaliers, the franchise struggled a year before finally landing a player who might be able to turn things around.

    The soon-to-be Rookie of the Year, Kyrie Irving has shown the league why he was the first pick in the draft. Still, while his talent is impressive, Cleveland is once again stuck with a losing record and ranks among the league's worst teams.

    The team has a bright future behind rookies Irving and Tristan Thompson but lacks guidance and experience. If the Cavs want to win, and they want to win now, a veteran with playoff experience is necessary for the roster.

    Duncan fits the team's needs perfectly. Tony Parker, Duncan's long-time teammate, has a skill set very similar to Irving's. With a focus on driving to the lane, passing and speed, Irving has jumped into the league showcasing Parker's talents, but to a higher degree than Parker did in his rookie season.

    The player who would benefit the most from the addition of Duncan would be rookie power forward Tristan Thompson. The two have already struck a friendship, as Duncan has taken on the role of Thompson's mentor.

    With Duncan's leadership, Cleveland would not only immediately increase its chances of becoming a playoff contender, but ultimately develop into the team of the next generation. 

Sacramento Kings

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    DeMarcus Cousins is exploding with potential. 

    In fact, the entire Sacramento roster is. With Cousins, Tyreke Evans, Jason Thompson, Marcus Thornton and Isaiah Thomas, the team's youth and talent makes the Kings a primary candidate to be one of the league's future contenders.

    However, with a roster composed of so many younger players, the Kings lack a true leader and someone with experience. Cousins, especially, has the potential to develop into a top big man, but first must be contained. As a notorious hothead, Cousins' talent is held back by frequent outbursts and drama.

    A veteran is needed on that team not only to control Cousins, but to provide leadership for the other young players on the team, too. 

    The addition of Duncan would not make the Kings immediate contenders, but it would help them develop the correct mindset and provide a boost for their future seasons.

Phoenix Suns

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    Steve Nash is beginning to get annoyed. And he has every right to be. After devoting the majority of his career to the Phoenix Suns, leading them to the playoffs multiple times, the 38-year-old point guard has been dissed, as the team refuses to make another title run while Nash's career comes to a close.

    In an interview with FOX Sports Radio, Nash admitted that unless the team makes moves that would give him a chance to win a ring, he does not see them in his future.

    "I'm not going to come back to the Suns if there isn't an improvement. If they're not ambitious and they're not looking to upgrade the roster seriously—and I think they are," he said.

    Unlike Sacramento and Cleveland, Phoenix would not be making the addition to help it in the future. Nash is on his final tank of gas, as is Duncan. Both are over 35 years of age, and it is not likely that four years from now either player will still be in the league.

    Still, Nash deserves a ring, or at least a shot at one. By bringing in Duncan, you are pairing two of basketball's greatest ever, making a duo deadlier than ever imagined. Though old, Nash is still a top point guard, as shown in his All-Star appearance this year. 

    Duncan, too, is still one of the league's best power forwards. With experience and knowledge like no other players in the game, the Duncan/Nash duo would give Phoenix one last shot at a title.

Washington Wizards

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    Similarly to the Kings, the Wizards are in desperate need of some leadership.

    Andray Blatche has lost his mind, and it is almost unfair to John Wall, who appears to be the only player on the lowly Wizards roster with some talent.

    He is in desperate need of a partner, and while the newly acquired Nene may give him one option, Nene does not possess the experience, knowledge of the game and overall skill that Duncan has.

    Under his leadership, Blatche may finally get his head in the game, and Wall may be able to develop into the player that he can potentially be.

    It may not make them a winning team, but at this point, anything is an upgrade to their current roster.

San Antonio Spurs

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    Did you really expect a list of potential Duncan suitors and not expect his current team to be on the list?

    Tim Duncan is the San Antonio Spurs. While he may no longer be the most talented player on the roster, anyone will agree that as long as he is in the league, it is still the Duncan era in San Antonio.

    After 15 seasons with the Spurs, Duncan has won four championships, two MVP awards and made the playoffs every single year.

    When he is elected into the Hall of Fame, it will be as a Spur, as they are his team.

    With other famous players like George Gervin and David Robinson, Duncan still stands out as the greatest Spur in history.

    Since day one, Duncan has worn the black and silver uniform, and to see his name plastered on the back of any other would be stranger than seeing Charles Barkley in drag.

    It is almost guaranteed that Duncan will re-sign with the Spurs if he elects to continue his career. 

    The team needs him not only as a player, but as a person and a mentor.