by Ryne Nelson

The Spurs never cease to be in the picture. They will never become irrelevant. They won’t allow it. Why?

Well, leave it to Chad Ford to break the most breaking news of the offseason as dramatically as possible via his live web chat:

The trade is Richard Jefferson to the Spurs for Bruce Bowen, Fabricio Oberto and Kurt Thomas … more coming in just a second. Deal is agreed to in principle with a trade call coming later today.

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Bowen, Oberto and Thomas are all in the last year of their contracts. It saves them roughly $3 million this year and $15 million next year. And it gives them some flexibility to sign at least one of their restricted free agents — either Charlie Villanueva or Ramon Sessions.

You heard it: Bruce Bowen is no longer a Spur. We knew it would happen someday, possibly, but nonetheless it’s still pretty unthinkable. At this point in his career the Spurs might’ve just awarded him an honorary spot at the end of the bench until Kobe retires, just to annoy the Mamba. But this… you know this is a business now. The Spurs throw away some refuse and dig up a still-spry, high-character wing player. What a piece for the best organization in sports!

People forget Bowen’s early days in Miami, Philly and Boston since Bowen did most of his damage in the white and black, but now he’s officially been given the Damon Jones treatment. This is a sad and happy day for Spurs fans.