Now that the NBA trade deadline is less than a month away, San Antonio Spurs fans could see several players traded. That could include Josh Richardson, a 3-and-D wing who is sure to draw plenty of interest from other teams.
Richardson was acquired from the Boston Celtics at the trade deadline last season and has become a key member of the team. However, he is on an expiring contract and doesn't project to have a future with the Spurs. That makes the possibility of him being traded a real one, but what should the Spurs' asking price for Richardson be? Let's take a closer look.
The Spurs already have an asking price in mind.
According to a recent report, the Spurs are seeking a first-round pick in return for Richardson, and they could very well receive one for him. After all, he seems tailor-made to help a contender by being able to defend his position and drain open threes effectively. So why hasn't he been traded yet? The Spurs have probably already received offers for him and are still fielding offers.
Some of those proposals could also include Doug McDermott and/or Jakob Poeltl, as well as the Spurs taking back bad contracts or long-term salaries. On the other hand, there are probably more straightforward deals that would net the Spurs a first-rounder, but presumably a late one.
The Spurs have a track record of hitting on those late-round picks, but if there is a deal in which they could combine Richardson and Poeltl or McDermott for lightly protected future first-round picks, then that would presumably be the team's preference. The often-rumored Lakers trade would be the best-case scenario for the Spurs, but that deal may never come to fruition.
As a result, the Spurs are smart to wait and see if another big trade opportunity materializes before deciding on lesser offers. Even if that is the case, the Spurs are essentially playing with found money because Richardson was included as a throw-in by the Celtics to help match salaries in the Derrick White trade. If they can get another asset as a byproduct of that deal, one that they can potentially spin into a long-term piece, that's obviously a win and helpful to the team's rebuild.
Fortunately, the odds seem fairly high that Richardson will be moved ahead of the February 9th trade deadline. Better yet, the Spurs' minimum asking price of a first-round pick appears likely to be met.