Uncharacteristically, the San Antonio Spurs have been one of the more active teams during the season. Their dealing of Bryn Forbes last month netted Juancho Hernangomez and a future second-round pick, and they have more assets other teams are undoubtedly interested in.
My latest trade rumor round-up summed up all of the chatter surrounding the Spurs since last summer, and there haven't been any updates to those stories since that was published on Wednesday. Still, the speculation online is continuing.
A column by the staff at The Athletic on Thursday shed some more light (subscription required) on expectations by the media concerning the names they've been seeing floated out most often. Creating an NBA trade deadline big board, they ranked the players by factors that included the potential impact of the trade, the likelihood of them being traded, and the asset value of the given players.
Derrick White, Thaddeus Young included on Trade Deadline Big Board
Unsurprisingly, Ben Simmons was at the top of the list, followed by Bradley Beal and Domantas Sabonis. Surprisingly, Derrick White also made the top 10 (# 8) on the list created by Sam Vecenie, Seth Partnow, and Danny Leroux.
"This is one of our favorite targets out on the market," they say in the piece. Citing Josh Primo, Keldon Johnson, and Devin Vassell as starting-caliber wings to take his place, they see White as someone who could give teams a defensive boost and backcourt intelligence.
"He actually doesn't fit the age timeline [in San Antonio]," they continue. White has had his struggles on offense this season, shooting the ball at a career-low 30.6% from beyond the arc while averaging fewer points per game (14.2) than he did last season (15.4). Still, he has tremendous value defensively and has shown an ability to shoot himself out of slumps in the past.
The Atlanta Hawks have already been rumored to have contacted the Spurs about White, but another team mentioned in this article as a perfect fit are the Utah Jazz, who recently lost Joe Ingles for the season with a torn ACL.
Also making the cut on the big board in the 38-name list is Thaddeus Young at 31. Young is widely considered to be the Spur most likely to be moved before the deadline and will likely be bought out if not.
"We're betting Young can still make a real impact for a playoff team this year," said the staff. Still, they say the mechanics of a trade are very difficult considering his contract. If San Antonio ends up having to buy him out, he's expected to be extremely sought-after by several teams and would likely join a contender.
The article wraps up by again bringing up Atlanta as a potential option for the current Spur, saying Young could be another addition to help their porous defense.
While Jakob Poeltl's name has come up in some light rumors in the last couple of weeks, it's starting to look like White and Young offer the most value to other teams and could be the names to watch before Thursday afternoon.