the conversation is getting a better player than Splitter to win right now than trying to keep Tiago for the future since we're probably going to be a lottery team or 6-7th in the playoffs at best once TD leaves
I think this is where we differ. I am of the opinion that seasons change and the status quo goes with it. To counter the change, what's required is a system that makes everything as close to as automatic as possible. It's the baseline reason that every player's role is defined. Pop and RC try their level best to ensure that the players they bring in, fit the roles they've created and need for this team. It will not always be the optimal fit, but if you think about it, they have gone with a total is better than the sum of it's parts mentality.
The LAL is a train wreck, the Mavs are the same, OKC is a still a beast but are they really better without James Harden? Does Harden and Lin have enough help in Houston? I say the Spurs trusting the system gives them a strong chance at staying at the upper levels in the West.
I will say that Jefferson has a superior post up game. But, I remind everyone that the whole team has invested over half a season playing the way they play, complete with all the nuances Pop has revealed. Bringing in a player whose main strength is the low block out to FT line extended does sound a little like TD. However, unlike TD, Jefferson does not have the added benefit of being in the system with year's and year's of "corporate knowledge". Out of all the coaches that Jefferson has played with, the only one who has ties to the Spurs tree is Doc Rivers, who he played for in 3 seasons. Then he went to Minnesota where he played for Kevin McHale, and they played primarily an inside out offense. Now he plays for Tyrone Corbin and again, an inside-out offense.
Maybe Al remembers some of the sets from his time with Doc. Let's say that he does. But I want to point out one thing:
He is a system coach and the Spur’s Continuity offense is a thing of beauty. The system has the players in constant motion and doesn’t rely on individual shot selection. It’s ball movement and spacing. He tailors many of his actions to maximize his star players like Tony Parker. Defensively, it’s pretty simple. No middle, fill and sink on the backside, and get into bodies (not just space).
Pop is who he is and that 4 Down is a system that Pop no longer relies on. The makeup of the team is such that they are a team that has to play a movement systems, they have to trust the offense, and even better than last year, they are better at defense.
Pop & RC may agree with you people that want Jefferson. They could very well do what you guys say, but looking at the history of how the Spurs have been run during the Pop era, they haven't done anything like that at all, even when they've brought in players during the mid-point. When they traded away Malik to get Nazr, it didn't require them to dump a starter. Nesterovic was the starter at the time and then got injured prior to playoffs that 05 title season. Drew Gooden and Glenn Robinson had specific roles as corallary players. Maybe Al takes one of those roles, but since Tiago has already fulfilled the expectations of that role...why trade that away plus the continuity?
IT'S THE SYSTEM and the word rules it all. Can Al Jeff get the system?
If Pop and RC think he can. They'll find a way. I hope Splitter stays and the Spurs don't lose too much continuity because of the outgoing players.