The San Antonio Spurs’ three trade deadline options
By Andrew Ites
With the NBA trade deadline only a week away, it’s time for the San Antonio Spurs to evaluate their options heading into the crucial day.
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the more intriguing teams in the league leading up to 3 o’clock eastern time on February 7th.
The Spurs could be big game hunting to improve their chances of making a deep playoff run this season, and they have the assets to potentially get a deal done for a distressed superstar.
San Antonio could stick to their tradition of standing pat at the trade deadline and emphasizing team chemistry over adding a piece that would need to be integrated quickly into the fabric of their team.
Or they could make a smaller move for a role player that wouldn’t totally disrupt the roll they’ve been on over the past couple of months.
Let’s dive into those options one by one, come up with some specific scenarios for each option, and determine which option the Spurs will choose in the coming week.
Next: Standing Pat
Outside of the Kawhi Leonard trade this offseason, San Antonio doesn’t have a history of making big time trades during the Gregg Popovich era, especially in the middle of the season.
It seems like the Spurs’ new core of players has figured out Pop’s system after struggling for the first two months, and the new pieces of the team are starting to play much better together.
The downside of using this strategy this year is that San Antonio knows they probably don’t have the firepower to compete for a championship with this current roster while the Warriors have five All-Stars in their starting lineup.
If the Spurs are content with an appearance in the Western Conference Finals being the ceiling this year, then this is the way to go.
If San Antonio wants to increase the upside of this year’s team, they’re probably going to have to make a move at the trade deadline or sign one of the buyout candidates after the deadline has passed.
Next: Trading for a role player
Trading for a role player
The Spurs do have some depth issues on the wing that they could be looking to address in a trade.
One of the most popular options in this scenario would be a reunion with former Spurs swingman Jonathon Simmons. Simmons seems to be on the outs in Orlando and would probably welcome a return to the place where he’s had the most success.
San Antonio could also take a chance on some young role player talent like Jabari Parker or Markelle Fultz who both have the draft pedigree and potential to develop into much more than role players in the future.
If the Spurs miss out on one of the aforementioned trades, they could look to fill that void in the buyout market as a plan B.
Next: Blockbuster trade
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We’ve discussed potential offers for Anthony Davis and Kevin Love among others, and the Spurs do have the assets to make compelling offers for big name players if they’re willing to mortgage their future a bit.
They will have two first round picks in this year’s draft and plenty of future picks to throw in a deal if necessary.
San Antonio also has intriguing young talents like Lonnie Walker and Derrick White who could be pieces of a rebuild if a team is looking to deal away a superstar and start over.
The Spurs could also follow the model of the Kawhi Leonard trade and swap a star for a star along with other draft compensation, which would bring DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge into play.
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Depending on how creative San Antonio wants to get, their team could look a lot different in eight days. Or they could do as they’ve done for the past two decades and keep their core together while they improve during the stretch run.
I think the Spurs will probably stand pat and look to the buyout market to address some needs on their roster. However, they have the ability to make a wide variety of moves if they so choose.