Grade the Mock Trade: Spurs take gamble on guard for long-term payoff

San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons
San Antonio Spurs v Detroit Pistons / Mike Mulholland/GettyImages
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The seemingly everlasting offseason is almost over, and basketball fans can rejoice as teams across the league are one week from starting training camp and kicking off their preseason schedule. While the San Antonio Spurs have spent the last four seasons near the bottom of the Western Conference standings, several shrewd transactions and a stroke of luck in the Draft Lottery sent their rebuild into overdrive this summer.

Selecting Victor Wembanyama with the number one overall pick supplied the Silver and Black with a generational cornerstone, and the front office bolstered their rotation with smaller trades for reliable veterans like Reggie Bullock and Cedi Osman. This young club likely lacks the experience, chemistry, and personnel to sneak back into the playoff picture, but they are more than talented enough to give anyone a run for their money.

San Antonio must cut two players and finalize their roster before the season begins, and a handful of familiar faces could soon become the odd man out. Though Khem Birch, Devonte' Graham, and Cedi Osman seem like the most realistic candidates to get the boot from Brian Wright, there will no doubt be multiple airtight positional battles that decide who gets to come along for the ride during the first year of the Wembanyama experience.

The Spurs will have to say goodbye to some serviceable contributors, but is there a chance for them to turn one of their expendable pieces into a valuable asset? That answer might be yes after a recent article from Bleacher Report suggested San Antonio should gamble on a last-second deal that could yield massive benefits for the long-term outlook of their backcourt.