In previous years, the trade deadline was usually a quiet period for the San Antonio Spurs. While the team's inaction often drove Spurs fans crazy, they were cautious when moving current players and bringing new ones in for chemistry reasons. Times have obviously changed, as have the team's objectives.
Not that long ago, the team's goal was to compete for a championship, and chemistry mattered. It still does, but the Spurs are now contending for the number one pick in this year's NBA draft, and players such as Josh Richardson, who can help them win games, are suddenly expendable. So, let's take a look at three reasons the Spurs must move Richardson at the trade deadline.
Josh Richardson helps the Spurs win games.
Thanks to a well-timed nine-game losing streak, the Spurs now find themselves with one of the worst records in the NBA. This recent skid comes as the Rockets, Hornets, and Pistons have all racked up at least a couple of wins. That puts the Spurs in a position to move into a tie for the highest lottery odds in the 2023 NBA Draft.
That's where the Spurs should want to be, but there are still approximately 28 games remaining, and that's when tanking kicks into high gear. Bad teams often trade their veterans, waive them, or buy them out, clearing the way for younger and less experienced players to take their place in the rotation. The Spurs should adopt the same strategy with Richardson. Richardson, alone, probably can't swing a game, but he is still a solid contributor who can help San Antonio on both ends of the floor.
Lottery-bound teams don't have too many of those players, and, ironically, he is detrimental to the Spurs for that reason. The goal at this point should be to put themselves in the best possible position to select Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson. Therefore, trading Richardson puts them another step closer to finishing with one of the worst records in the league.