San Antonio Spurs Rumors

Could the Spurs sneak their way into a Jae Crowder trade?

Oscar Barkis
Jae Crowder, Doug McDermott
Jae Crowder, Doug McDermott / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Proposed trade

One trade that could benefit all teams involved includes Doug McDermott being shipped away for a familiar face.

In Doug McDermott, the Spurs may have the type of player that Phoenix will be looking for in return for Jae Crowder. Also a veteran forward, Dougie McBuckets would provide better shooting to the Suns than Crowder previously did (but also is a significantly worse defender). Spurs insider LJ Ellis wrote recently that the main reason that other teams haven’t been in on McDermott is his two year, $27.5 million contract.

To contrast that, ESPN's Bobby Marks spoke on the Lowe Post podcast (minutes 41:30 - 42:30) recently about the fact that the Suns are approaching a period in which a lot of their young guys (Johnson, for example) have their contract extensions hit. When that happens, they won’t have cap space to add other players, so Phoenix might want to add long-term money now. Marks did say that they’d be looking in the two year, $14ish million range, but I digress.

Does a trade like this work?

Let’s say that the Suns are interested in Doug McDermott. I actually think that they should be (this is not just Spurs bias, McDermott could add a lot to a winning team). I mentioned his shooting earlier—career 41% from three—but he’s also an excellent cutter and usually sits around league average value above replacement player (VORP). Doug’s VORP is weighted down by his defense. On a team that doesn’t need him to start, that matters less.

But again, assume the Suns have interest in a deal. What do the Spurs do with Jae Crowder? He’s the reason we’re here, and as I said earlier, he doesn’t have as much value to San Antonio as he does to contenders. Because the Spurs are really only in the deal to shed long term salary and potentially pick up some draft equity, extending this deal to a three teamer isn’t that hard to do.

A ton of teams should be interested in joining the trade as a third, so anyone doing this exercise could pick any team expected to be in the top six of either conference. Because the Dallas Mavericks are the team I am most familiar with outside of the Spurs, there is familiarity between Crowder and Dallas (the Mavs drafted Crowder in 2012), and because the team was listed in the four to keep an eye out for by insider Shams Charania, I chose the Mavericks.

So what would make the Spurs interested in such a return?