Coming into the offseason with the tag of a defending champion is kind of a two-edged sword. It could work for you sometimes with great additions or you could end up having a bad contract that's going to bite you in the long run. So far Spurs have been lucky (thank god for the Summer '03 - for, Kidd didn't sign).
The priority for the Spurs was to re-sign Horry and I am glad both parties quickly got the deal done without much drama. Horry deserved a pay-hike; he battled like a warrior in the playoffs, and he still has enough gas in him for at least 2 seasons imo.
Signing Oberto was a bit of a suprise because of all the talks were just about how Spurs are going to bring in Scola. I think the Spurs once again came up with a surpise and I hope he gels with the team and is going to be major contributor immediately (needed because, if he works out great, Spurs will be better placed to let Nazr go or Trade Rasho just to get some cap-relief for a young SF next season).
Signing Nick Van Exel was a surprise. I never thought NVE is going to be a Spur. Honestly, I never liked the guy before the '03 WCF. He had a monster series against us and I like him a lot since then (although he was fearless, clutch guy before too - he was not to my liking).
Finley agreeing to play for Spurs is HUGE. Thank Mark Cuban for getting into a situation where he ended up having bad contracts , but had to release a quality baller Finley. I am glad he chose Spurs especially because other suitors were our potential CF/Finals opponents. It's like a win-win situation. You get a fine player and at the same avoided him going to a contender.
The direct outcome of Finley signing is the departure of Devin Brown. Most Spurs Fans like him - not just for the reason that he is a local boy, but he proved he could be a decent role player in the league. I am sure Spurs would've tried to match Utah's offer to Brown if they could've moved Barry's contract. But Devin became Plan B or C for Spurs, with his back still in question. You can't go into the season with him as a primary backup for Bruce in that situation. Plus you don't get guys of Finley's calibre every season for so cheap. And probably coach Pop wanted to give Barry one more chance this season before writing him off (esp. after a decent showing in the Finals). I am sure RC and Pop are aware of the aging swingmen rotation of Bowen/Barry/Finley and they'll fill the hole with a younger , quality guy next season.
Overall Spurs look set for a great season ahead with a bench comprising of almost another starting lineup for any NBA team. Tim and Manu getting a real rest with no international/national commitments is going to be huge. Chip Engelland should help in fixing some of Spurs' shooting woes and get a consistent and reliable shooters out of Tony, Brent, Bruce.
Exciting times for Spurs Fans!!!
Go Spurs Go