San Antonio Spurs Rumors

3 Heavily-rumored trade targets Spurs reportedly never wanted

Deandre Ayton
Deandre Ayton / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages
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Since last year, the San Antonio Spurs were heavily predicted to pursue some fairly big names this offseason. That line of thinking was put to a stop on June 30th.

With their trade of Dejounte Murray, the front office made it loud and clear that they were putting all of their eggs in two baskets: development and drafting. It's a bold approach but one that makes sense when you consider it's how the Spurs were first able to establish excellence in the past.

This isn't to say we should totally discount free agency and trades from being part of GM Brian Wright's short and long-term plans. In fact, there are still rumblings that the Spurs are holding onto their cap space to be part of a blockbuster trade before next February's deadline.

But it's safe to say at least a couple of names frequently linked to the Spurs as having interest may have all been smoke and mirrors.

In his intel article last week, Spurs insider LJ Ellis shed some light on what the team had been planning for the summer and what might lay ahead for them. In it, he discussed several of those names.

San Antonio Spurs
Deandre Ayton / Jonathan Bachman/GettyImages

1. Deandre Ayton, Phoenix Suns

As Ellis reports, there was never much of a chance the Spurs were actually going to poach Deandre Ayton from the Phoenix Suns. In fact, he reports they never even considered making him an offer once free agency began.

"The source tells me that San Antonio declined to even engage with Ayton’s camp," said Ellis.

I'm still torn about this choice by the front office. On one hand, I was always a proponent of going after Ayton because he seemed like the missing piece that could at least start to turn things around for the Spurs. That said, that was predicated on Dejounte still remaining a Spur.

Seeing the direction San Antonio decided to go in, it makes sense that they wouldn't want to use so much of their money for a guy that's a big question mark as a potential franchise player. I mean, it appears they didn't see Murray as definitively that guy either.

I still think the Spurs could've at least gotten a jumpstart to their rebuild by getting a talented young piece in Ayton, but I'm not torn up about it since it seems like the Suns were going to match regardless.