It's the end of an era in San Antonio, so what's next for the Spurs?

The Spurs will be without their big three for the first time in 21 years

With Manu Ginobili announcing his retirement this week, it's truly the end of an era for the San Antonio Spurs. 

The 41-year-old was the last remaining member of the famous big three after Tim Duncan retired in 2016 and Tony Parker chose to join the Charlotte Hornets in free agency.

2014 Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard - along with Danny Green - was also traded to the Toronto Raptors last month.

So where does the franchise go from here?

Rebuild

This isn't a word that fans in San Antonio want to associate themselves with after seeing their team enjoy huge success over the last 20 years. 

The Spurs have become a winning organisation and will continue to do everything they can to compete for a championship regardless of who's on their roster. 

LaMarcus Aldridge showed he can carry the team last season

But a rebuild may be a necessary option in the coming years. The last time they had a number one draft pick was in 1997 when they selected Duncan and we saw what impact that had.

Gregg Popovich is the last man standing and his time is also coming to an end with rumours that the 2018-19 season may be his last. 

With All-Stars DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge on their roster, they may still make the playoffs next year and be among the best teams in the west. 

But that will be with Popovich in charge and we all know he has a special way of getting the best out of every player at his disposal. 

Gregg Popovich is still regarded as the best coach in the NBA

The Spurs are going to have to look towards the future and make a decision on which direction they want to go in as Pop will be the hardest to replace.

Going into training camp without any member of the big three will be a unique and strange experience for the team and Popovich but it'll be a sign that times are changing.

With Leonard demanding and getting his move away, the Spurs dynasty is practically over and coming back from one of their toughest offseasons will be tough.

Staying competitive

The Texas-based franchise showed last year that they can still be competitive as they secured a postseason berth without Leonard. 

Kawhi Leonard only played nine games last season due to injury

Adding DeRozan keeps them relevant and there's no doubt they'll be playoff contenders. But it's important to look at the bigger picture.

Aldridge and Pau Gasol are likely to be the starting frontcourt next year but they'll be 33 and 38 respectively. 

Kyle Anderson, a solid young player, chose to join the Memphis Grizzlies as a restricted free agent after the Spurs failed to match their offer sheet. 

Their roster now contains a mix of some promising youngsters and a lot of veterans. 

Dejounte Murray is expected to play a big role next year

The addition of 32-year-old Marco Belinelli for his second stint with the team was a decent but unspectacular move. 

The reality is, they're unlikely to be contenders in the near future with the players they have so the front office has to look at ways of competing for a title again further down the line. 

Having made the playoffs for a record 21 years, it's hard to think of San Antonio not making it either next season or the year after. 

But a failure to finish in the top eight shouldn't be seen as a bad thing as it could land them a budding young star in the draft that may galvanise the franchise. 

They have historically struggled to land marquee free agents so it's unlikely that the star-studded class of 2019 will have them high on their list of destinations. 

Therefore, just like two decades ago, they may have to look to the draft to start a new era.

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