Update: At 2:01 p.m. CST, NBA Insider Shams Charania broke news on a trade sending Kyrie Irving to Dallas to join forces with Luka Doncic and the Mavericks. As such, some of this article is no longer relevant. However, Los Angeles asking for San Antonio's involvement in a deal is still significant news. With Thursday's deadline fast-approaching, other trades are always on the horizon.
NBA Twitter lost their collective minds when news broke of the Kyrie Irving trade request on Friday. If you’re a Spurs fan who follows this news closely, you’ve probably noticed there have been approximately ten million takes on how San Antonio could get involved in a deal.
The Lakers were considered strong contenders for Irving's services, particularly if the Spurs could get involved.
A new angle that has not been reported much, however, is that the other L.A. team was the latest to join in on the trade rumors. According to Spurs Insider LJ Ellis at SpursTalk, the Clippers “contacted the Spurs about potentially putting together a three-team trade… it included Kyrie Irving ending up on the Clippers and the Spurs receiving a first-round pick to absorb an unwanted contract.”
What could the trade have looked like?
Of course, this is all moot now, but it's interesting to see that the Clippers turned to the Spurs for help, which could mean they might do so again in the near future. With the recent report that the Nets were coveting Josh Richardson and Zach Collins in a potential deal (for salary purposes), that could shed some light on what teams are valuing at the deadline.
How this would've affected the Spurs’ outlook
Realistically, a trade like this one would've had no impact on the Silver & Black’s play this year. I’m working on another trade deadline article right now that starts by saying that everyone involved with the Spurs is “at this point resigned to the fact that the Spurs are going to be sellers, not buyers, at this year’s trade deadline.” It’s all about the future, baby!
The fans know this, the coaches know this, the players know this. At 14-39, the Spurs will comfortably end up as one of the four worst teams in the NBA. But we all knew this coming into the season. Given that reality, the fact that there have been exciting games is very encouraging. Malaki Branham’s recent stretch of play is the latest positive outlook on the team’s future.
Speaking of Branham, the front office likely will want to give him and other prospects (Wesley, Barlow, Bassey) more run post-deadline and after the All Star break. In the universe where the above trade happens, the Spurs move on from Covington and Harris (first by looking for suitors, more realistically by buying their contracts out) to open opportunities for the young guys.
After that, the team will have its sights set on a top pick in the 2023 Draft.