Although the San Antonio Spurs had built a well-established history of avoiding trades, that changed in a big way this season.
The dealing of Bryn Forbes to the Denver Nuggets in January was just the beginning, as the front office then made three more trades in February, including the blockbuster deal of Derrick White for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and picks from Boston.
The whirlwind of moves set up for some relief in the rotation while also making it clear the organization wasn't content with remaining stagnant any longer. Now armed with four picks in next month's NBA Draft, other executives appear to be aware that the Spurs will be open to talks of further transactions.
"Other executives are monitoring Oklahoma City, Charlotte, San Antonio, and Minnesota as potential traders," said Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype on Friday. "The Spurs have a surplus of late first-rounders that should be available."
Not only do the Spurs have plenty of picks in this year's draft, but they also have plenty of future picks to utilize in potential deals. Given their limited roster space, a lack of at least one trade on draft night would be a surprise and could point to them planning a bigger move later or a draft-and-stash or two-way contract scenario.
While the Orlando Magic and Oklahoma City Thunder will likely be hanging onto their respective first and second picks, the Houston Rockets have said they'd be open to offers for their third pick while the Sacramento Kings, who possess the fourth pick, are always a wild card to do something crazy.
What are some likely trade scenarios if the Spurs make a move?
Since it's the Spurs, we're not going to hear any leaks of intents on draft night, so the most we can do is make an educated guess on what makes the most sense for them. Taking four new guys to add to the roster isn't realistic, so packaging some of their later picks to move up makes a lot of sense, especially if there are two guys the team is eyeing in the lottery area.
In addition to their 9th pick, San Antonio has the 20th, 25th, and 38th picks in June's draft to work with, so any combination of those can be used to tempt a team that's looking for quantity over quality. The Spurs could also use one of those picks to punt for a 2023 pick, which is a class predicted to be loaded with talent. A team like the Los Angeles Lakers, who have two second-round picks next year and no picks at all this year, would make sense as a trade partner.
The Spurs set themselves up to wheel and deal this summer, and the rest of the NBA is learning that this isn't the same front office of old.