While the San Antonio Spurs almost always end up doing nothing at the trade deadline, reports say they’re at least listening to inquiries. The March 25th trade deadline will be here before you know it, and several teams are looking for that one piece that can help push them to the next level.
According to The Athletic’s Shams Charania, the Spurs’ pending free agents are all drawing interest (subscription required) from other NBA teams. The Spurs, in turn, are listening to inquiries.
The four players Charania mentions are no surprise: LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Trey Lyles, and Patty Mills. Clearly, the Spurs and other teams alike both know there’s little to no chance they’ll break up the fountain of youth setting up this team’s future.
We’ve previously written about which teams would make the best trade partners for the Spurs considering their situations, but, ultimately, I don’t see them shaking up this roster unless they receive an offer they can’t refuse.
Of the candidates Charania lists, here’s how I’d personally rank their likelihood of being traded, from most to least likely.
Rudy GayTrey LylesLaMarcus AldridgePatty MillsDeMar DeRozan
Given Aldridge’s history with the team and his capabilities on the offensive end, I could see Coach Popovich wanting to ride it out with him as the backup big man until the end of the season. Similarly, other teams may be inclined to just take their chances to poach him in the offseason.
Lyles may also have increased his value recently with his play, so there may be a team willing to give him a more significant role and give up some commodities for his 3-point shooting and rebounding. Any number of teams should be inquiring about Rudy Gay and his ability to put the ball in the hoop, as we’ve also discussed in the past.
As for Mills and DeRozan, I’d be shocked if the Spurs were willing to let either of them go while they’re both having career years in certain ways.
The trade deadline is officially three weeks away — will this be the year the Spurs make a move? And do they even need to? Stay tuned.