San Antonio Spurs News

Spurs stand pat at 2018 NBA Trade Deadline: Now what?

By Rob Wolkenbrod
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 19: Head Coach Gregg Popovich talks with LaMarcus Aldridge
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 19: Head Coach Gregg Popovich talks with LaMarcus Aldridge /

The San Antonio Spurs had a quiet day at the 2018 NBA Trade Deadline, much to the surprise of no one.

3:00 p.m. ET came and went, along with the 20-25 minutes that follow, which usually features teams getting last-minute deals completed at the NBA Trade Deadline. However, none of it saw the San Antonio Spurs make a dent in what was a chaotic day.

Was this a surprise? Hardly. This organization has made one deadline-day deal in the past five years and five total in franchise history. It’s a product of the team’s success on the court, along with the stable group at the top, whether it was Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili or David Robinson. For the modern-day Spurs, it’s LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard, despite the absence of the latter for all but nine games in the 2017-18 season.

Speaking of Leonard, health may be the biggest acquisition the Silver and Black can make before the playoffs arrive. The “Klaw” remains out with a quad injury, while Rudy Gay‘s heel ailment has kept him sidelined since the end of December. Whenever these players return to the court, who knows how much better the Spurs will play, just as Jabari Young of the San Antonio Express-News said:

Smart for #Spurs to stand down at the deadline. Team is 3rd in the West and don’t know who they are yet without Kawhi and Rudy. Could be a dangerous roster once they return healthy. #NBA

— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) February 8, 2018

After that, the Spurs can turn to the buyout market, which may be more intriguing than what we saw Thursday. Joe Johnson, Derrick Rose and Channing Frye, all of whom were traded, could be candidates. Plus, veterans that did not go elsewhere have the chance at a buyout, including Marco Belinelli, Shabazz Muhammad and Kenneth Faried. If any of them hit free agency, will San Antonio be in on them?

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Otherwise it could be a quiet, final two months of the season, as the Spurs wait for injured players to return and float around that No. 3 to 5 range in the Western Conference. It’s a team that did not need to mortgage its future to get better, and may just be one Kawhi away from improvement.