Grade the trade: Spurs add veteran leadership in three-team DeRozan deal

Grading the San Antonio Spurs trade with the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings, involving DeMar DeRozan and Harrison Barnes.
Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Sochan
Harrison Barnes, Jeremy Sochan / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs are tired of getting bullied in the NBA and decided to do something about it this offseason. The front office isn't known for being very aggressive during transaction periods, but they have spent significant time accumulating a war chest of assets. Now, the time has come to plant the Silver and Black flag, and General Manager Brian Wright has unsheathed his blade.

Wright is heading into his fifth season as the team's GM, and he's making moves to strengthen the roster. First, Chris Paul was added to this team—the ultimate floor general—now an athletic veteran with championship experience. The value these players bring to the Spurs is immeasurable.

Spurs are no longer the youngest team in the league

Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder finished the season as the number-one seed in the Western Conference. The Spurs front office had to look at that and feel like the team needed a boost. San Antonio was the youngest team in the league, but the Thunder were the second-youngest team, and that did not stop them from being a force in the NBA.

There's no way that the brass in SA saw that and didn't decide that major changes needed to be made to this roster after finishing with a 22-60 record for the second season in a row. Earlier in the season, Victor Wembanyama expressed how veterans on the roster would benefit the team. It's no surprise that the Spurs listened to their generational star—though the play on the floor made the need for experience obvious.

Harrison Barnes brings more versatility to this roster. He shot 39% from three, and he's joining a team that was ranked 28th in three-point percentage, making him a valuable piece. Barnes is 6'8 with a 6'11" wingspan, adding to the long-armed legion the Spurs have been building. Stephon Castle, Victor Wembanyama, Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan have extended tentacles, and Barnes will add to the build.

His defense will take a step forward under Coach Gregg Popovich and with Wemby behind him, he'll be a strong defender for the Spurs. He has had a strong midrange game since his time as a Tar Heel, making him a three-level scorer you can depend on. He has two years left on his deal, which will pay him $18 million this season and $19 million next season. It's not a hefty price tag, and it's movable if the Spurs deem it necessary. It is difficult to see a downside to this move.

Grade - A