Teams only have until Thursday, February 8th, to shape up rosters for late post-season pushes or completely blow it up and go into rebuild mode. San Antonio sits at the bottom of the Western Conference at 10-40 with only 32 games to go in the regular season.
While the Spurs may be the lowest of the low in the Western Conference, this is an entirely different scenario compared to any other team in this position. San Antonio is looking to buy high on talent to pair next to Victor Wembanyama and this young roster in hopes of restoring their glory days.
In the last two years, we've seen general manager Brian Wright do his best recreation of the Oklahoma City strategy and acquire as much draft stock as possible to build through the draft or use valuable picks they've gained to make blockbuster moves. While we're still waiting to see one of those occur, San Antonio is in the perfect position to land great role players or even a disgruntled superstar looking to get a fresh start.
With the picks and draft capital the Spurs own, plenty of players have been made available, and Brian Wright could pick up the phone and make a deal.
4. Matisse Thybulle
San Antonio has a true needle in the haystack regarding the need for more depth at the wing position. Still, to add the cherry on top, the defensive liabilities at that position are clear as day and in desperate need of an upgrade. While Keldon Johnson has looked comfortable in his new role as a spark plug off the bench, the Spurs still need to add depth to this position, and Matisse Thybulle is the perfect fit.
The Spurs are not acquiring Thybulle for his offense, as they have guys who can score. They're trading for his defense. While Johnson's build is above average and decent size, he can't go toe-toe with some of the elite wings in the game like Kawhi Leonard or LeBron James. The only player on the roster who can think about those matchups is a second-year forward, Jeremy Sochan.
Not only does Keldon struggle against those who are bigger in size and versatility, but he also struggles as a one-on-one isolation defender, and teams hunt out for that matchup when looking to get points on an iso. Any explosive ball carrier can take advantage of Johnson's liability and create a play.
Landing Thybulle would allow for those days to be long gone. Keldon's best fit is still off the bench as the explosive around-the-rim shot creator. Still, this move allows for the Spurs to add proven defensive wing depth, upgrading over Julian Champagnie in the starting lineup to form a nightmare front-court trio of Thybulle, Sochan, and Wembanyama. While keeping Johnson a role, he's acclimated well to.
In this hypothetical, San Antonio gives up Doug McDermott, who's on an expiring contract, and Chicago's 2025 first-round pick protected within the top ten. Portland can keep McDermott for shooting and veteran leadership or ship him to a contender. While also betting highly on potentially getting Chicago's pick, however, if they choose to blow it up in the off-season, that pick would most likely stay with the Bulls.