3 Bold predictions for Spurs' 2022 offseason
By Cal Durrett
Prediction #2: The Spurs will trade into the top four of the draft
The NBA Draft Lottery didn't go San Antonio's way with the hopes of a top-four selection being dashed while Houston and Sacramento landed the third and fourth overall picks. Fortunately, all isn't lost. Houston's GM has already stated that he'd be open to trading the third pick while Sacramento could also be willing to deal because they're Sacramento.
That gives the Spurs a golden opportunity to try and trade up, and they have the assets needed to make that a reality. Still, teams that are willing to move back often demand a lot, and the Spurs will have to assess how much is too much. That may very well be the case with Houston, who could ask for Keldon Johnson in addition to the 9th, 20th, and 25th pick.
San Antonio would likely counter by offering former lottery pick Devin Vassell in place of Johnson. That's certainly a competitive offer, but whether they say yes depends on how the Rockets view Vassell. It also depends on how they view whichever of the Chet Holmgren, Paulo Banchero, and Jalen Smith trio that ends up being available.
As for the Kings, a modified Vassell trade package might make more sense, especially if they don't see a lot of difference in the talent available at four and nine. Moreover, they could be willing to trade back from four to pick up additional assets. Either way, the Spurs' chances of trading up into the top four seem much higher now than before and they could actually end up moving up in the draft.