How the Spurs could use their flexibility for more valuable assets
Considering most playoff teams are well over the cap, the Spurs should be open to taking back longer-term salaries and bad contracts to make a trade happen. The Lakers have the assets while the Spurs have cap space and two players that L.A. would likely be interested in.
Therefore, the Spurs could make this offer to absorb Westbrook's hefty contract for some nice future returns. The trade isn't necessarily possible now but will be after July 1st when new salaries are locked in.
While even the thought of such a trade would likely set Spurs Twitter ablaze, Westbrook probably wouldn't even play for the team in this scenario. San Antonio could offset $31.6 million of his monstrous salary next season while using their cap space to absorb the rest. Moreover, the Spurs could simply waive Westbrook after the trade, considering he'll be in the final year of his contract. Then he could sign where he wants.
I get it. Giving up Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson, two players who can help the Spurs next season, for Westbrook and picks might seem crazy. That said, if San Antonio drafts a starting caliber power forward and re-signs Lonnie Walker, then neither McDermott nor Richardson would likely play a big role next season anyways.
Even if they did have bigger roles next season, they’d take away minutes from younger players, which would fly in the face of the Spurs' rebuild. As a result, it wouldn't make sense to keep both players, particularly when each could net the team a future first rounder, let alone two firsts from the Lakers.
Speaking of those two picks, they could be incredibly valuable assets, especially if unprotected. Let's look more into the potential increasing value of those picks if you're still not convinced.