Bowen Update: Guarding Kobe?

Former Titan Bruce Bowen doesn't appear to have many options but the San Antonio Spurs are quite interested in the free agent forward.

With Derek Anderson going to the Portland Trail Blazers, the San Antonio Spurs are very interested in former Titan and Miami Heat forward Bruce Bowen. According to the Sun-Sentinel, the Spurs would love to have the defensive-minded Bowen to help contain Laker gurad Kobe Bryant:

With San Antonio free-agent guard Derek Anderson opting to sign with Portland, Heat free-agent forward Bruce Bowen stands closer to realizing his goal of signing with the Spurs.

Intrigued by Bowen's defense and potential to guard Lakers nemesis Kobe Bryant, the Spurs had kept Bowen on hold as negotiations continued with Anderson. The delay reached the point where Chicago broke off its courtship of Bowen.

Anderson had been kept on hold by the Spurs' negotiations with center David Robinson and Kings free-agent forward Chris Webber. Robinson formally signed a two-year, $20 million deal Saturday with San Antonio, shortly before Webber signed a seven-year, $122.7 million deal to remain in Sacramento.

Bowen's agent, Steve Kauffman, said Saturday he was heartened by the opportunity to place Bowen in San Antonio, but also disappointed by the austerity approach adopted by Heat coach Pat Riley.

"That's been his first choice, other than Miami," Kauffman said of placing Bowen in San Antonio. "Miami is out of the picture now. Of course, he'd like to play under Pat."

With Anderson opting to join the Blazers, the Heat could wind up absorbing a double jolt.

As recently as Thursday, Anderson's agent, Tony Dutt, said the Heat was one of several teams attempting to acquire his client in a sign-and-trade transaction. Additionally, without having to reserve salary-cap space for Anderson, the Spurs move into position to sign Bowen outright as a free agent, instead of having to broker a sign-and-trade transaction with the Heat. San Antonio has $6.3 million available to pursue free agents such as Bowen.

Bowen had received only lukewarm interest this summer from the Heat, which is seeking to avoid the impending luxury tax and has only $4.5 million available in salary-cap exceptions.

"He's a luxury-tax casualty," Kauffman said. "I respect an owner's right to do that."

Also, from MySA.com:

"Our priorities always were to re-sign David and Derek," Popovich said. "Now we have to look at other options."

Barring a sign-and-trade deal — which likely wouldn't be completed until early next week, Dutt said — the Spurs are expected to sign Miami free-agent forward Bruce Bowen and at least one other player.

Bowen's agent, Steve Kauffman, was traveling all day Friday and spoke only briefly with the Spurs, but said his client is very interested in signing with the team.

According to ESPN Insider, where Bowen is the No. 8 best free agent available:

8. Bruce Bowen, F, Miami Heat

Possible destinations: San Antonio, Miami, Chicago
Salary demands: $2.25-to-4.5 million
Bowen isn't much to see on the offensive end, but he's steady and he's a wonderful defender. Pat Riley wants to keep him, but the Heat's luxury tax woes will probably prevent it. The Spurs wanted him badly, and will probably get him now that they've resolved the situation with Derek Anderson. Bowen hoped to cash in on a big deal, but he's running out of options fast.