San Antonio Spurs News

San Antonio Spurs: Temper your trade expectations

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMEBR 18: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks with Kawhi Leonard #2 during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 18, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - DECEMEBR 18: Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs talks with Kawhi Leonard #2 during the game against the New Orleans Pelicans on December 18, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2016 NBAE (Photos by Chris Covatta/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Nearly 48 hours remain before the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline and while the San Antonio Spurs were name-dropped a few times in rumors, nothing should be expected.

Trades; reports; rumors; speculation. This will the next 48 hours of the NBA news cycle, with the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline almost here, and earlier than ever, with the date pushed up from after the All-Star Break to one week before. Given the Blake Griffin trade and the smaller deals that accompanied it, ripple effects were already in play.

For the San Antonio Spurs, midseason trades, whether they happen well before the trade deadline or on the day of, remain a rare occurrence. Only five have happened on deadline day in franchise history, with just two over the past 12 years. It’s not only a result of a conservative approach, but an instance of the organization’s once-in-a-blue-moon need to shake things up. Blame that on the group of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili in their respective primes, while the front office drafted players to support them and brought in free-agent veterans.

The 2017-18 season does not have this look. While franchise pieces remain on the roster, only one of them (LaMarcus Aldridge) has been featured. The other (Kawhi Leonard) has played in just nine games this season. Otherwise, it’s a team that features veterans past their prime, a handful of role players and a few young pieces. Yet, this team sits in the No. 3 spot in the Western Conference, but it does not seem like enough.

The Spurs can use depth behind Aldridge and Pau Gasol, with Joffrey Lauvergne as the only true backup. Willy Hernangomez’s name was thrown around, but as Pounding the Rock noted in its headline, it probably won’t happen. There’s little reason to believe the front office will shake up a team that, despite not playing at a championship-caliber level for most of the season, Leonard or not, has struggled against the Houston Rockets (twice) and the Golden State Warriors — the top teams, record-wise, in the Western Conference. It’s based on the past, not the present, unless a Stephen Jackson-esque deal arises before the deadline.

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Maybe Spurs fans will receive a surprise and see a shakeup before the deadline. Otherwise, the closest thing to a midseason acquisition will be the return of Rudy Gay later this month. Maybe Leonard, too, but there has been little to nothing on when he may return. So, expect this roster to remain the same after 3:00 p.m. on Thursday.

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