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The Spurs Land a Big Four in Trade

MILWAUKEE - FEBRUARY 18: Richard Jeferson #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks looks to pass against the Chicago Bulls on February 18, 2009 at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Bulls defeated the Bucks 113-104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agreees 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)
Scott McGrathCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

In what could be the biggest or most influential trade in the offseason, even with so much of it remaining, the Spurs have once again NBA Finals hype.

Richard Jefferson was traded from the Milwaukee Bucks to the Spurs today. However, many thought the Spurs would have to pay the price for a star such as Jefferson, sending players like Manu Ginobili or Roger Mason Jr. and George Hill.

Instead, the Spurs only sent aging defender Bruce Bowen and forward Kurt Thomas. Luckily, Jefferson is a great defender as well, and will replace Bowen perfectly. Additionally, he becomes another scoring threat, who averaged over 20 points per game with the Bucks.

The Spurs now have a big four consisting of Jefferson, Ginobili, Tony Parker, and Tim Duncan. The Spurs struggled last season with injuries to Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, which took them out of games for a considerable amount of time. Tim Duncan also struggled with a lingering knee injury that kept his minutes down and took him out of some games.

With this new lineup, the Spurs definitely have some holes that need to be filled, but are now in serious contention for a trip to the NBA Finals next season. But, if they hope to succeed, their bench must still perform, although without many significant changes to it, they should be solid.

However, the Spurs must add someone, whether it be from the draft, from a trade, or from free agency that can complement Duncan besides Matt Bonner. Fabricio Oberto was also involved in this trade, even though he saw very limited minutes last season.

Without Oberto and Thomas, the Spurs are very thin when it comes to their forwards. Expect to see some other moves from the Spurs this off-season or in the draft for a forward.

Just this move has put the Spurs into serious contention to win the NBA Finals next year. The Spurs now have five players who average more than 11 points per game, and will rely heavily on Drew Gooden to produce off the bench or as a starter, unless they get a replacement.

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