The San Antonio Spurs have already locked up the number one seed in the Western Conference and are riding high on a eight game winning streak heading into the post season.
They could use their final two regular season games to rest their stars, stay healthy and ready for a deep playoff push and perhaps a legitimate shot at their fifth NBA title.
But it doesn't seem to keep the team from looking ahead, trying to improve their roster as early as possible.
According to Chris Haynes of CSNNW.com, several sources have told him the Spurs are intent on making a serious push (Hat tip Spurs Nation) at signing Portland forward Nicolas Batum during the offseason.
Batum can become a restricted free agent after the season. Most analysts have his next contract pegged at about $10 million per year. Batum told CSNNW.com that he expected to be drafted by the Spurs during his 2008 rookie draft before Houston made a surprise pick of him at No. 25.
"I was shocked," Batum told CSNNW.com. "I thought for sure I was headed to San Antonio. I was talking with Tony (Parker) and the guys and then Houston drafts me out of nowhere. I never worked out for them. They had T-Mac (Tracy McGrady) and (Shane) Battier at that time, and I was confused. Then I was traded to Portland and I was like 'O.K., that's better'."
The 23 year-old Batum, could be an ideal addition to the Spurs’ structured system. He is close with Tony Parker and Boris Diaw after playing with them on the French national team.
Batum has averaged a career-best 13.9 points and 4.6 rebounds for the Trail Blazers in his fourth season, and is averaging 10.2 points and 3.9 rebounds for his NBA career.
A sore left knee kept the athletic forward from playing in the Spurs’ 124-89 victory over Portland Monday night at the AT&T Center. But he sounded impressed when he told CSNNW.com about watching the Spurs.
"The Spurs play well together. They share the ball and do everything the right way," Batum said. "I don’t know what's going to happen with my situation and I'm not worried about it right now. Everything will play itself out."
With the current logjam at the small forward position, it seemed not wise to invest on another young talent, but his athleticism and youth could be enough reasons for the Spurs to have a long look at him.
However at $10 million per year, as a Spurs fan, I'm having second thoughts.
San Antonio's salary cap situation next season will largely depend on how big Tim Duncan's paycut would be.
Also adding another legitimate big man on the Spurs' frontcourt, wouldn't be such a bad idea moving forward.
What do guys think? Send us your thoughts on this matter.
(Photo via ambasketball.com)