There aren’t too many personnel transactions that the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks could find common grounds on besides in the draft.
Throughout this series, we’ve seen the San Antonio Spurs trend young, old, sideways and upside-down, but they’ve been stingy with their 2020 first-round pick. However, the Dallas Mavericks are the first trade partner that makes sense to make a deal with when it comes to draft picks.
Sitting at the seventh seed in the Western Conference, Dallas is heading back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016. They’ve got their star in Luka and their second fiddle with Kristaps Porzingis, but the surrounding cast remains questionable. With head coach Rick Carlisle getting older and their star primed to put up major numbers right now, they’re going to be a team that could go all-in on their roster next year.
In order to do that, you need to have some cheap contracts on the roster and there’s no one worth their value like a late-lottery rookie. With that in mind, they could be incentivized to trade up in the 2020 NBA Draft for someone more valuable and San Antonio is the right partner for the job.
To trade up for the San Antonio Spurs’ first-round pick, the Dallas Mavericks give their first-round pick, next year’s second-round pick and Dorian Finney-Smith.
In 2019, we saw the Minnesota Timberwolves trade up to the sixth pick by sending their 11th overall pick and Dario Saric to the Phoenix Suns. That’s not all—Dallas themselves traded up to get Doncic in 2018, sending the rights to Trae Young and a protected 2019 first-round pick to Atlanta to secure their guy. If Dallas has eyes for anyone in particular that they feel pairs well with Doncic for the long-haul, it’d be inspiring to see them move up.
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By trading back, the Spurs add Dallas’ 2021 second-round pick to either trade up next year or take a flier on someone late. There are plenty of talented players left around No. 18, where I had Dallas projected to take Kentucky guard Tyrese Maxey. While San Antonio doesn’t necessarily need another guard, they can shift focus to someone like Jalen Smith, Josh Green or Tyler Bey to fill out their weak frontcourt rotation.
They’d also bring along Dorian Finney-Smith, a fourth-year forward who made progress as a shooter, rebounder and defender under the Mavs’ system. He’s not going to be the difference between making the playoffs or not, but Finney-Smith is a solid role player who can help San Antonio regain its confidence as a defensive-minded team.
In order to make it work, the Spurs need to clear cap space by renouncing their cap holds for one of the looming free agents. That would most likely be Marco Belinelli, whose cap hold is just over $7 million this offseason. Other options include Bryn Forbes and Jakob Poeltl, but Marco makes the most sense here since he’s the veteran player on the decline who won’t garner anything close to what his hold is in free agency.
You can find other articles in this series by clicking on the team name below:
Pacific Division: LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors — Northwest Division: Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves— Southwest Division: New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets.