San Antonio Spurs News

The Need to Know: Spurs at the Trade Deadline.

Feb 10, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon (3) high fives forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 10, 2017; Auburn Hills, MI, USA; San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon (3) high fives forward Kawhi Leonard (2) during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace of Auburn Hills. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
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It’s been a hectic week in the NBA and the trade deadline ends today at 3pm. Here is what you need to know about the Spurs.

The San Antonio Spurs have been predictably quiet regarding potential trades at the deadline.

According to Jeff McDonald, beat writer for San Antonio Express-News, tweeted that he didn’t expect the Spurs to be active before the deadline.

Gonna climb way out here on this limb and predict a quiet trade deadline for Spurs … but you never know https://t.co/ItktSRyl1f via @mySA

— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) February 23, 2017

For Spurs fans, this doesn’t come as much of a surprise.

While many teams are scrambling to make roster improvements heading into the ladder stages of the NBA season, the Spurs are more than content with their current roster.

Instead of adding firepower to their lineup, head coach Gregg Popovich is more concerned with figuring out his best rotations when Pau Gasol returns from his injury.

In McDonald’s article, Popovich had this to say about his team.

“I still don’t know who to put in for who all the time,” Popovich said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do and a lot to figure out.”

While it’s common for the Spurs to steer clear of trade-deadline moves, this year has to be a bit more difficult considering the improvements that both the Houston Rockets and New Orleans Pelicans have made this week.

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The Pelicans kicked off the week by acquiring DeMarcus Cousins in exchange for Buddy Hield, Tyreke Evans, Langston Galloway, a protected 2017 first round pick, and a 2017 second round pick. I’m sure most fans are aware of this trade by now, but writing out the players the Sacramento Kings received in return for Cousins continues to baffle me.

Cousins, who is averaging 27.8 points per game, 10.7 rebounds, and 4.8 assists was traded for three bench players, along with a first and second pick, respectively.

Nevertheless, the Pelicans, a team in the same division as the Spurs, made a move that makes them significantly better, on paper at least.

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The Rockets didn’t stay quiet, either. In his first major move as President of Basketball Operations, Magic Johnson traded Lou Williams to the Rockets for a first round pick and Corey Brewer.

This trade isn’t as “blockbuster” as the Cousins trade, but the Rockets aren’t in 11th place in the Western Conference, they are in third place, 4.0 games behind the Spurs.

The addition of Williams gives them another solidified sharpshooter to surround MVP candidate James Harden, which makes defending the Rockets that much harder.

Despite the power moves that were made by both the Pelicans and the Rockets, the Spurs believe their best chance at success this season is with their current roster.

In McDonald’s article, Kawhi Leonard said chemistry is the most important factor.

“I think we’re doing good right now,” Leonard said. “It’s all about team chemistry. You’ve always got to try and figure out the best way for you and your team, but I think we’re doing good right now.”

With about 3.5 hours left until the trade deadline, the Spurs will likely stay put.

However, the Spurs do expect Gasol to return Friday night against the Los Angeles Clippers. Gasol has been injured since January 19th, when he fractured his left hand.

Although the Spurs were 11-4 in his absence, their offense has taken a hit. Without Gasol, the scoring pressure was put solely on Leonard’s shoulders. and that is not the Spurs M.O.

The Spurs prefer to spread the offense around and get everyone involved. With Gasol slated to return, the scoring load is not solely on Leonard, and that is great news for the Spurs.

Gasol told McDonald that his rehab was going as planned.

“It’s going as well as expected,” Gasol said over the league hiatus. “Hopefully, I will be back right after the All-Star break.”

Gasol wasn’t the only player on the injury report. It may seem like a century ago, but Manu Ginobli tweaked his ankle during the game against the Orlando Magic last week, scaring Spurs fans everywhere.

Don't anticipate Manu Ginobili missing an extended amount of time with that ankle injury. In fact I'm hearing… https://t.co/iFENtcnTLB

— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) February 22, 2017

Although Ginobli is listed as a game-time decision for tomorrow’s matchup with the Clippers, he is expected to suit up and play.

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  • So, the Spurs may not be making a move at the deadline, but they’ll be at full health for the first time in over a month. That, in and of itself, is something be happy about it.

    It’s also coming at a crucial time, considering they are playing the Clippers who are expecting Chris Paul to return tonight against the Golden State Warriors.

    The Spurs and the Clippers have played twice this season. The Clippers won both matchups.

    The Clippers won the first matchup in San Antonio, 116-92. The Clippers won the second matchup in LA, 106-101.

    Luckily, the Clippers lost ground in the playoff race in Paul’s absence, so it’s unlikely that the regular-season matchup will come into play.

    However, it’s important for the Spurs to beat the Clippers, as they’ve struggled against them in past playoff matchups, and playing them again in the playoffs this year is definitely a possibility.

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    For the Spurs, it’s not about blockbuster trades that shake up the league.

    For the Spurs, it’s about consistency. If they can regain their health, find their stride, and play team basketball like they are capable of doing, the Spurs will be a tough matchup on a nightly basis.

    Their first test following the All-Star break will be a tough one, as they face-off against the Clippers in Los Angeles Friday night at 8:30 CT.

    Go Spurs Go.

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