We’re kicking off a new series by proposing a potential trade that the San Antonio Spurs could make with the Golden State Warriors in the 2020 offseason.
During the month of July, we’re going to pose 29 separate trades that the San Antonio Spurs could pursue during a pivotal 2020 offseason that’ll shift the direction of this organization’s future. We’ll begin with the Pacific Division and make our way throughout the NBA starting off with arguably the most interesting thought-experiment in basketball: The Golden State Warriors.
After dominating the NBA for five seasons, Golden State isn’t anything like we thought it’d be by this point. Former MVP Kevin Durant is long gone, rehabilitating a torn Achilles tendon in Brooklyn as sharpshooting legend Klay Thompson recovers from his own torn ACL in The Bay. With the worst record in the NBA at 15-50, they’re the odds-on favorite for the No. 1 pick – a trade piece that San Antonio probably can’t attain without sacrificing their young core.
Instead, we’re going to focus on taking advantage of Golden State’s $17.2 million trade exception from the Andre Iguodala deal last year. Using that filler, the Warriors could swing for another All-NBA talent on an expiring deal to go all-in on another Finals run in the 2020-21 season.
The San Antonio Spurs trend younger and go all-in on an All-Rookie team candidate with Golden State’s Eric Paschall.
Let’s be honest here: San Antonio is probably going to get pennies on the dollar for LaMarcus Aldridge in a deal. Waving a soon-to-be 35-year-old in trade talks for the No.1 pick just doesn’t make a lot of sense for a team that’ll need cheaper players on a star-studded roster next year. Their one position of weakness is the center spot, where Aldridge spent 95 percent of his minutes over the last two seasons.
A lineup of Steph Curry, Klay, Andrew Wiggins, Draymond Green and LaMarcus is contending for a title immediately, and sacrificing a guy they got with the 41st pick last year wouldn’t be too bad of a deal. It’d be a nice way to make use of their trade exception without leveraging the future as they did with the Wiggins deal at the trade deadline.
It’d put Warriors in luxury tax hell next season, but then again, that’s a fate they’ve already come to accept for the foreseeable future.
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Meanwhile, rookie Eric Paschall is a trustworthy rotation player who was the standout of the Warriors’ punted season. He averaged 14 points and 4.6 boards per game while showing flashes as a dependable modern four with huge upside on both sides of the floor. Paschall is a stat-sheet stuffer who plays well beyond what the numbers show.
He led a truly bad team in minutes this season, which definitely skews his advanced metrics down, but Paschall wasn’t the man to blame. Few players showed as much grit as he did this year, filling in almost any and every role for the injury-ridden dynasty. He has the makings of an all-around playmaker from the four-spot, which makes him a hot commodity to have in the modern NBA. His age and development track aligns with the Spurs’ young core, making him an ideal fit for the next generation in San Antonio. It’s extremely likely that Paschall lands on an All-Rookie team for his determination in an unlikely first year.
The other piece, Kevon Looney, provides an insurance policy in case Jakob Poeltl receives a major offer in restricted free agency. His deal expires after next season, so whether he pans out or not, the Spurs get to take a low-risk swing here. Looney spent most of this season injured, like most of his team, but has played meaningful minutes in major playoff moments with a versatile game as a four/five.
On top of that, they’d get an extra second-rounder to take a chance with a rookie.
Ideally, you’d want to get more for Aldridge, but I just don’t think teams will be offering a lot. Barring unforeseen circumstances, this is one of the better deals they could possibly get.