If you've made it to clicking this article, let me ease your mind by telling you that no, I'm not about to compare Josh Richardson or Romeo Langford to San Antonio Spurs legend Manu Ginobili. Not even close.
What I'm hinting at with this headline is more literal than you might think. You see, there was a sneaky part of the Derrick White trade with the Boston Celtics that may have slipped by you. Sure, they'll be getting a top 4-protected 1st round pick in this draft that will almost certainly convey this year. But beyond that, they got something that could prove even more valuable, even if it's far off in the future.
One kicker in the surprising deal involves the 2028 NBA Draft. As part of the trade, the Boston Celtics will be conveying their 1st round draft pick to the Spurs as long as they don't have the number one overall pick that year. That means San Antonio gets to pick in place of Boston if their pick lands anywhere from 2-30 in round one.
The True Prize in the Derrick White Trade: More Ginobilis
Meanwhile, somewhere in Argentina, Italy, the United States, or just about anywhere, Manu Ginobili's twins, Dante and Nicola, will have just turned 18 years old that May.
I know what you're thinking. What are the odds that the Spurs luck into recreating the magic they did when taking a chance on their soon-to-be Hall of Famer? And you'd be right in thinking so.
After all, at least one of them would have to want to be a professional basketball player and have the skills to warrant being a 1st-round pick in the future. Beyond that, even if all the stars aligned and one or both of them became eligible for the draft by then, there's no way other teams would let another Ginobili slip through their grasps, would they? Especially if they even had a semblance of the natural talent and an ounce of the passion their father had for the game?
This is all tongue-in-cheek, of course, (or is it? o_O) but this whole idea speaks to a bigger point: this is no ordinary trade kicker that has a minimal chance of leading to success in the future. Top-1 protections are rare for a reason. There's a decent chance the Spurs end up with a fairly valuable additional pick in 2028 depending on how well the Celtics are playing at the time.
Whether the impossible happens and they end up with another Ginobili or not, San Antonio's history of drafting well will undoubtedly be important in the years to come given their trove of draft picks.
Let's just hope their drafting ability can continue to impress going forward as well.