The San Antonio Spurs have something they're not used to having for decades -- a wealth of young talent and future assets. With the NBA trade deadline approaching on February 10th, that could come in handy.
By now, we all know what the ceiling and floor likely will be for the Silver and Black. If fully healthy, they could be a play-in team with the potential to sneak into the eighth seed with some luck and rapid growth. At worst, they'll be a lottery team once again that misses the postseason for a third straight year.
Knowing this, the question becomes how patient the front office will be with the rebuild. This is the first full year dedicated to rebuilding the franchise since the late 90s, and the league is way different than it was then.
As basement-dwelling teams and contenders alike look to improve their rosters, they could come calling Popovich and company in an effort to speed up their timelines. While most of the team will probably be available for the right price, there are three guys I can see being the most realistic trade chips for San Antonio.
Here they are, in no particular order.
1. Thaddeus Young
There isn't much I can write about Thaddeus Young that I haven't already said. He's a fantastic player and even better person off the court that would've worked well in San Antonio in any other timeline.
Unfortunately for both sides, Young is stuck not playing despite still having plenty left in the tank to offer. As I recently wrote, there are three likely outcomes for how Young's time in the Alamo City ends: a trade to a contender, trade to a non-contender, and a buyout. I don't think the Spurs would go for option two, and with the most likely trade partner in Phoenix recently signing Bismack Biyombo, that avenue is looking less likely as well.
This is looking like yet another buyout situation for the 14-year veteran, but there's still an outside shot another contender comes calling in the final days. For all parties involved, let's hope that's the case.