San Antonio Spurs History

Seven trades that came back to haunt the San Antonio Spurs

Richard Jefferson (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Richard Jefferson (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /
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Gordon Giricek (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
Gordon Giricek (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images) /

7. San Antonio Spurs trade Gordan Giricek to Memphis for 2nd rd pick (2002)

He could have been another stash-and-develop player in San Antonio’s rich history of success with that strategy. Instead, Gordan Giricek ended up being a gift that the Spurs gave away. The Dallas Mavericks drafted Giricek with the 40th overall pick in 1999, trading him to the Spurs for Leon Smith.

The 6-6 guard remained overseas, playing in his home country of Croatia and then Russia until he made his NBA debut in 2002. By then, the Spurs had traded his rights to the Memphis Grizzlies for a second-round pick in the 2004 NBA Draft.

Gordan became a solid role player and deadly 3-point shooter for the Grizzlies, eventually traveling to Orlando before spending his golden years with the Utah Jazz. Through his 384 total career games, Giricek shot 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and averaged 9.6 points per game.

When you consider that the Spurs ended up drafting Romain Sato with their pick from the Mavericks, it’s tough to ignore how lopsided the deal was. The 6-5 forward from Central Africa never ended up seeing any playing time in the NBA, instead playing in Europe from 2004-17.

It sure would’ve been nice if the Spurs had a prime Marco Belinelli-type player instead of a wasted pick back in the early 2000s.

Next: No. 6