San Antonio, TX- The Spurs have reached a deal with Center Aron Baynes, meaning the 2014 NBA Champions will be returning the entire lineup plus first round draft pick Kyle Anderson. If you didn't have them as your Western Conference favorites already, you should be convinced now.
With the Thunder not improving their roster, Houston getting worse, and Golden State with a brand new Head Coach, the only real competition the Spurs have in the West this year is the Clippers. Of course, there is the fact that breakout point guard Patty Mills will be out until around the All-Star break, but the Spurs may have found an answer to his absense in Bryce Cotton.
As for Baynes, what does he bring to the table. Well, added rest for Tim Duncan is always a plus if the Spurs wish (and they do) to make a run at a repeat. He's also something seldom seen in today's game, a true seven foot center. A bruiser, if you will. Baynes showed his worth throughout the season in stints of great basketball. His stand out performance was in game one of the Western Conference Semi-finals against the Trail Blazers where he went for 10 points and 7 boards in 15 minutes. During the 2014 FIBA World Cup, he averaged 17 points, seven rebounds, and one block per game.
Its not often a team wins the NBA Championship and brings back the entire roster the following season. Barring injury, look for the Spurs to be represtening the West again in the Finals this June. Strike up the band and let's do it again.