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The San Antonio Spurs’ three trade deadline options

SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 10: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs hi-fives DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 10, 2019 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 2019 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX - JANUARY 10: LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs hi-fives DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs during the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on January 10, 2019 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 2019 NBAE (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 29: The San Antonio Spurs stand during the national anthem before an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns held January 29, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 29: The San Antonio Spurs stand during the national anthem before an NBA game against the Phoenix Suns held January 29, 2019 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Edward A. Ornelas/Getty Images)

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

PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 23: Dante Cunningham #33, DeMar DeRozan #10, and LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs walk to the bench against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 23, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Spurs 122-120. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – JANUARY 23: Dante Cunningham #33, DeMar DeRozan #10, and LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs walk to the bench against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on January 23, 2019 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The 76ers defeated the Spurs 122-120. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

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.

Related Story. San Antonio should trade for Stanley Johnson

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

OAKLAND, CA – MAY 16: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket during the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 16, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA – MAY 16: Jonathon Simmons #17 of the San Antonio Spurs drives to the basket during the game against the Golden State Warriors during Game Two of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 16, 2017 at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

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.

Related Story. Orchestrating a San Antonio Spurs trade for Nikola Vucevic

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

NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 19: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs on November 19, 2018 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)
NEW ORLEANS, LA – NOVEMBER 19: Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans handles the ball against LaMarcus Aldridge #12 of the San Antonio Spurs on November 19, 2018 at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Layne Murdoch Jr./NBAE via Getty Images)

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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The San Antonio Spurs should trade for Aaron Gordon. Next

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.

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