The San Antonio Spurs have been unusually active in making trades this summer, leading to speculation about their next move. With 17 players under contract for next season, it seems likely that the Spurs will have to make another trade or two to clear roster space. The next player to go could be Doug McDermott, given that he is on a large expiring contract. Despite his shooting ability, the Spurs would likely choose to give more minutes to their young players, thus making him expendable.
That leads to a proposed trade by Bleacher Report in which the Spurs would send McDermott and the Lakers' 2024 second-round pick to the Orlando Magic for Jonathan Isaac. In theory, trading a veteran for a younger player with a higher upside is the right type of trade for the Spurs. However, as Bleacher Reports points out, Isaac has played just 11 games in the last three seasons. That makes him risky, to say the least, even if he is only owed a guaranteed $7.6 million over the next two seasons.
Would the Spurs agree to the trade with the Magic?
With a guarantee date of January 10th, 2024, for his full $17.8 million salary, Isaac would have to impress in training camp and earn a spot in the rotation. It's possible but unlikely, given how crowded the Spurs frontcourt is already with Victor Wembanyama, Zach Collins, Jeremy Sochan, Charles Bassey, and Sandro Mamukelashvili.
Had this deal been proposed last offseason, it might have been more intriguing to the Spurs, who knew that they weren't going to be good. That would have allowed them to give Isaac a chance once he returned from injury. Now, with Wembanyama on the roster, the Spurs are looking to get back to their winning ways, and taking a potentially expensive flyer on him doesn't make a lot of sense.
It also means that they would have to find another player to cut or trade ahead of the cutdown date, which might be hard to do. Factor in that the Spurs would be the ones giving up a pick, albeit a second-round pick, instead of the Magic, and this trade doesn't make a lot of sense for the team.
With Issac an injury risk and owed at least $7.6 million next season, the Magic would likely have to give up a couple of second-rounders to offload him. Or they could simply waive him if he doesn't work out. In that case, the Spurs might be more willing to take a flyer on him, but not before.