If the San Antonio Spurs and Indiana Pacers swap centers and role players, they could each hit a higher ceiling in the long-run.
Now that we’ve crafted trades with every team in the Western Conference, the trade options get a bit more intriguing for the San Antonio Spurs. If history is any indicator, the Spurs want to trade their players out of the conference, so they could be more trigger happy when making deals in the East starting with the Indiana Pacers.
Though Indiana hasn’t had nearly as much success as San Antonio, these two franchises emulate each other. Both live in underrated sports markets, have die-hard fanbases who adore the sport and have had vast regular-season success in the modern NBA. They’ve each built well-respected lore around their organizations by empowering smart decision-makers, making changes as they need to and recruiting the right personnel for their organization.
Both franchises have reached an impasse with their teams as currently constructed. Indiana is going to continually reach the postseason but doesn’t have the firepower to get over the hump. San Antonio, on the other hand, has an unjust mixture of youth and vets that isn’t going to get the job done anytime soon. Therefore, they might look at each other’s roster to spice things up.
In exchange for LaMarcus Aldridge and a 2020 second-round pick, the Indiana Pacers send Myles Turner and Justin Holiday (S&T) to the San Antonio Spurs.
First, let’s work out the logistics — LaMarcus Aldridge‘s one-year deal is worth $24 million, fully guaranteed for next season. In order to make the finances work, the Pacers need to renounce the rights to wing Justin Holiday, who barely made an impact for the team in terms of on/off-court differentials this season. However, his size and skill at the small forward spot make sense for the Spurs’ immediate future, so he gets a one year, $7.5 million extension to play in the River City.
Now let’s get down to it! Aldridge is getting older and quite frankly, we’re not going to see anything transformative from him next season. Even after establishing himself as a 38.9 percent 3-point shooter, Aldridge’s game is pretty cut and dried — he’s going to space the floor with mid-range jumpers and triples for as long as he can, but he’ll eventually get back to banging in the post. He’s a veteran presence whose been in major playoff spots and can really turn it up for the Pacers when it matters.
In the West, the three-headed dragon of Oladipo, Sabonis and Aldridge isn’t all too daunting. However, that group can do damage in the Eastern Conference and might have enough firepower to pull off an upset in the playoffs next year. If the fit doesn’t work, they can simply let Aldridge walk next year and use that cap space elsewhere.
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Letting go of center Myles Turner accepts the fact that he and Sabonis aren’t a good fit alongside each other. Quite frankly, the Pacers haven’t used Turner to the best of his abilities, but Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich sure did. Turner excelled when playing for Popovich a Team USA and fits with the team’s timeline moving forward.
He can muscle around for buckets in the paint, step outside for a 3-point jumper, block shots with reckless abandon and anchor the team on both ends of the floor. It’s a great natural fit for the team as currently constructed and Turner doesn’t command the ball as much as Aldridge does. The defensive tenacity that Turner brings to the table would create a major ripple effect in the Spurs’ lineup.
Holiday can come off the bench to give the Spurs floor spacing, defense and veteran leadership in spots between 18-25 minutes per game. He’s an underrated player who might make a bigger difference than the realize considering the Spurs haven’t played a single player at the small forward spot who fits there naturally. Adding that 2020 second-round pick gives the Pacers, an organization that’s proven to draft well, a chance to replicate his value on their bench.
You can find other articles in this series by clicking on the team name below:
Western Conference: LA Clippers, Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Portland Trail Blazers, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, Denver Nuggets, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans, Houston Rockets, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies.