1. The Spurs Could Eat McDermott's Contract
The organization has a lot of cap space moving forward, so wasting $13 million a season to have him play ten minutes a game wouldn’t be ideal, but it also wouldn’t sink the franchise. This is a worst-case scenario, but between Dejounte Murray, Sochan, Josh Primo, Devin Vassell, Tre Jones, Jakob Poeltl, Keldon Johnson, and maybe even Lonnie Walker and Josh Richardson, there are simply better players than him on the roster.
On top of his lack of skill compared to others, McDermott is the only true defensive liability on the team. He is negative on defense, and when there are better defenders around, there is no reason to keep him on the court.
Naturally, a trade would be a lot better, but McDermott is frankly overpaid and his skills can be offered by a better all-around player (Seth Curry) or for a lot cheaper (Danny Green). Who has enough space to take on his contract? Detroit, Orlando, and perhaps Charlotte if they make big moves. Detroit and Orlando are in the middle of a youth movement, and Charlotte wants to sign a big-name guy, not a fringe starter from a play-in team.
Having a team-first guy lead the locker room and bench without contributing much on the court is not the worst way to spend money. Remember Demarre Carrol? It could always be worse, and McDermott seems to enjoy the culture in the Silver and Black.
2. The Spurs Could Trade Him
I’m not entirely sure what a trade for McDermott would look like, but a sign-and-trade for Ayton could feature McDermott as one piece. They could also send him to Brooklyn if Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant decide to blow things up, or Washington if Bradley Beal finds a new home.
The return would not be an exciting young player, so fans should not be expecting that. Jerami Grant is a much better player and all Detroit got for him was a 2025 pick via Milwaulkee, which should fall between 23-30.
McDermott would get the Spurs a veteran back in a straight-up trade, or a late draft pick. Is it worth it? It would free up cap space and valuable minutes on a crowded roster, so I would say so. It wouldn’t be glamorous, but it could give San Antonio a slight edge.