The trade deadline came and went without any moves from the San Antonio Spurs, which isn’t a huge surprise but it was disappointing.
The San Antonio Spurs have a history of avoiding big-time trades in general outside of the Kawhi Leonard deal this offseason, and they rarely ever make a trade during the regular season.
In fact, they haven’t made a move on trade deadline day for five years in a row.
The Spurs continued that trend this year while most of the league was busy making moves ahead of the deadline at 2 PM central time on Thursday.
In my opinion, there were plenty of players dealt that could’ve helped San Antonio this year.
The most egregious missed opportunity was the Kristaps Porzingis deal. Dallas did have to swallow some bad salary in that trade, but San Antonio would love to have someone with Kristaps’ upside on their roster right now.
Nikola Mirotic was sent to Milwaukee for a pretty reasonable price, Reggie Bullock could’ve been a good addition on the wing, former Spurs swingman Jonathon Simmons was dealt to Philadelphia as a throw-in piece of the Markelle Fultz trade, and the Raptors didn’t have to give up a first round pick in their trade for Marc Gasol.
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I understand the Spurs’ rationale of not giving up future assets to improve this year’s team.
The Warriors are prohibitive favorites to win the title, and San Antonio’s best-case scenario would be making the Western Conference Finals this season.
However, I think the Spurs should’ve taken a chance on some of the young talent that was available at the deadline.
Stanley Johnson is an intriguing wing player that could’ve helped San Antonio’s depth on the wing this year. He could develop his jump shot with the help of legendary shooting coach Chip Engelland and potentially become a building block of the next great Spurs team.
Instead, he ends up in New Orleans as a piece of the Nikola Mirotic trade.
Taurean Prince was another trade target we discussed leading up to the deadline who could be a promising young wing player to pair with Lonnie Walker.
Johnson, Prince, and Zubac are not franchise changing players, but they’re the type of young talents that San Antonio has a history of developing into really solid players within their system.
Admittedly, it’s not fun watching the trade deadline from the sidelines.
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The Spurs’ front office has proven that they know what they’re doing for the past two decades, and they could improve the roster in a buyout market that should have some quality players.
But I do think there were a couple of deals to be made that could’ve raised the ceiling of the future of the franchise without giving up too much capital in a trade, and they may regret sitting out of this year’s deadline ifone of those players becomes a starter on a good team in the years to come.