1: Sitting out in free agency
The Spurs would be wise to hold onto their trade chips for a bit longer, but making a flashy trade isn't the only way they can acquire a star. Armed with north of $43M in practical cap space, the Spurs have never been in a better position to go big game hunting in free agency.
San Antonio has always had some trouble luring prospective free agents to south Texas. But with the addition of Wembanyama, their pitch to free agents is significantly more compelling.
The Spurs have a need at point guard and could really use more three-point shooting. Thankfully, there are two free agents on the market this summer who easily fill those requirements. As soon as free agency opens, the Spurs need to be in contact with Fred VanVleet and Cameron Johnson.
Johnson is a restricted free agent this summer, and the Brooklyn Nets will obviously want to hold onto him. He's a great three-point shooter and strong defender, and his best basketball is still ahead of him. He's the kind of player every team in the NBA would love to have. But Brooklyn's ability to match any contract Johnson gets shouldn't dissuade the Spurs from backing up the Brink's truck.
If anything, Johnson's restricted free-agent status puts even more pressure on San Antonio to act quickly. Get a massive contract in front of him and force Brooklyn to match. The Spurs will need to put themselves out there to get to a place the Nets won't match, but with the salary cap expected to rise quickly over the coming years, they shouldn't be afraid to take on some risk for a player that's fits a huge gap like Johnson.
Trying to sign Fred VanVleet makes just as much sense for San Antonio but should be easier since he can simply decline his player option and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. San Antonio desperately needs a high-caliber point guard to help usher in an efficient offense, and VanVleet fits the bill.
A solid three-point shooter, pesky defender, and elite floor general, VanVleet checks all the boxes for San Antonio. Offer him a lucrative contract, no state income tax, and the opportunity to lead a storied franchise back to the top of the Western Conference alongside the best young talent since LeBron James, and I bet he listens.
I have all the confidence in the world that Brian Wright and the Spurs front office will make the right moves this summer. But avoiding these massive mistakes is just as critical to the long-term success of what could be the next great run for the Spurs organization.