The San Antonio Spurs took a hard blow to its gut on Wednesday after learning their Texan rival, the Houston Rockets, completed a deal with the Los Angeles Clippers to acquire All-Star point guard Chris Paul – their no.1 target in the lead up to free agency season. However, the Spurs aren’t going to wilt down under pressure because RC Buford and the rest of his front office team have solid alternatives on their minds.

Kyle Lowry

The three-time All-Star point guard is high on the list of the Spurs’ alternatives in case they couldn’t bring Paul on board.

Toronto Sun writer Steve Simmons stressed perennial Western Conference elites, the Spurs, and the Clippers are expected to pursue Lowry if Paul was already off the market.

Lowry, who averaged 22.4 points, 7.0 assists and 4.8 rebounds per game, could earn a longer and more lucrative deal with the Raptors, but the itch to win a championship could force him to join an established West contender. Right now, the Spurs have the obvious edge over the Clippers in terms of an appealing roster makeup. However, sources close to the situation are reporting the Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as another legit contender for his service especially after they pulled off that Jimmy Butler trade during the NBA Draft.

Derrick Rose

The news about Rose getting interest from the Spurs isn’t surprising. Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich always likes guard who can challenge opposing teams’ defense through penetrations, and Rose is still pretty effective at that despite the injury. Averaging 18 points, 3 rebounds, and 4 assists last season with the New York Knicks, the 28-year old Rose will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.

NBA insider Ramona Shelburne of ESPN reported the Spurs have a strong interest in both Paul and Rose. Between the two point guards, Rose stands to be the cheaper as it won’t need a $30M per year offer or a longer contract to seal a deal. Like in Lowry’s case, the Wolves are also top contenders for Rose’s services primarily because of his relationship with former mentor Tom Thibodeau.

Andre Iguodala

The Spurs are mentioned as one of at least seven teams expected to chase the veteran lock-down defender this free agency season. Gone are the days of Iguodala being a go-to-scorer, but the vet managed to increase his value by becoming a serviceable perimeter defender and clutch performer for the Golden State Warriors.

The Warriors are by far favorites to retain his service; however, many NBA insiders think other teams have a shot at the swingman as well.