The San Antonio Spurs may be adding another point guard after Dejounte Murray went down with a season-ending injury. Who would be the best fit?
The San Antonio Spurs suffered a major blow when an MRI revealed that third-year point guard Dejounte Murray had torn his ACL.
Murray is likely done for the year after twisting his knee in Sunday’s preseason game against the Rockets, which leaves the Spurs without a starting point guard just days before their first regular season game against Minnesota.
San Antonio isn’t known for making blockbuster moves this close to the regular season, but they may be forced to take action to replace their defensive stalwart point guard.
The Spurs have a few other quality guards on their roster, but none of them can step in to fully fill Murray’s role on this team.
A big time trade is unlikely, but there are a few interesting trade targets out there including a former Spur and an All-NBA guard.
Next: Cory Joseph
Cory Joseph is probably the most obvious answer to the Spurs’ point guard dilemma.
This idea was brought to my attention by a Twitter user in reply to my article on who will replace Murray in the lineup, and I think it makes a lot of sense.
The 27-year-old point guard began his career in San Antonio and played with the Spurs from 2011-15. He averaged 5 points per game and 1.7 assists off the bench for the championship team of 2014.
Joseph spent two years in Toronto before joining the Pacers last season.
He didn’t have a great year in Indiana with a true shooting percentage of just over 50% and a player efficiency rating of 11.0, but he knows the Spurs system and could plug-and-play right away.
Joseph is entering the final year of his contract, so San Antonio wouldn’t have to commit to him past this season and it wouldn’t cost much to acquire him.
This wouldn’t be the flashiest move, but I think it’s the most realistic trade for the Spurs to make in this situation.
Next: Jimmy Butler
Jimmy Butler has been capturing headlines ever since he requested a trade from Minnesota a couple of weeks ago, but the Wolves still haven’t moved him.
I theorized a potential Jimmy Butler trade when the news broke that he wanted out of Minnesota, and I think the Spurs could’ve made a serious offer for the Wolves to consider.
However, Dejounte Murray or Lonnie Walker would probably have to be involved to get a deal done and both of them have suffered knee injuries this preseason.
San Antonio could still put together a decent package consisting of a first round draft pick or two, Jakob Poeltl and Patty Mills, which might be better than anything that the Wolves are being offered right now.
Acquiring a third All-NBA player to play alongside DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge would automatically make the Spurs serious contenders even though the fit wouldn’t be perfect and San Antonio would have to sacrifice some depth and future draft capital.
I still think the Spurs’ front office should give Minnesota a call and see if they’re interested in unloading their unhappy All-Star.
Next: Ricky Rubio
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Ricky Rubio is one of the few point guards in the league that could come close to matching Dejounte Murray’s level on the defensive end as Rubio ranked fifth at the position in defensive real plus-minus last season.
Rubio has always played like a Spur and I’m sure Gregg Popovich would love to work with someone who moves the ball and defends as well as the soon-to-be 28-year-old Spaniard.
The one weakness in Rubio’s game has been the outside shot, but he shot a career-best 35.2% from three last season on a career-high 3.5 attempts per game in Utah.
He is set to be a free agent this offseason, so that could bring down his price a bit in the trade market. Even if he was a one-year rental it would be well worth it to bring in a player of his caliber to compete in the Western Conference this season.
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I doubt Utah is actively shopping Rubio at the moment, but they could pick up the phone for the right price.