The San Antonio Spurs have cap space. A lot of it. By remaining in a holding pattern throughout the season, they now have plenty of leverage in a deal for draft picks at the cost of using that space to absorb contracts. According to Spurs insider LJ Ellis, they're now a very popular team due to their patience.
As Ellis reports in his latest intel drop, "it's an extremely busy room right now" with "a lot of pressure being applied from a number of different angles." As he explains, the Spurs have $27 million in cap space to use while no other team has more than $9 million.
For context, Ellis has been tapped into front office sources for a while now and was the first to have accurate details just before the Dejounte Murray trade happened last year. You can follow their Twitter account here for more insider reporting.
The latest buzz online seems to indicate that the Brooklyn Nets trading Kyrie Irving by the February 9th deadline is inevitable. After his trade request earlier this week, the question just comes down to who that ... lucky(?) team might be.
Report suggests Nets eyeing Zach Collins, Josh Richardson in a trade
According to the SpursTalk report, the Nets would prefer to stay away from any long-term contracts in any such Kyrie deal. As a result, rumors state they've specifically told teams Zach Collins and Josh Richardson are on their radar. That makes perfect sense, as Collins doesn't have guaranteed money coming beyond this season while Richardson will be hitting free agency himself.
The Spurs remain determined to get as much draft compensation as possible in any trade that absorbs a huge contract, such as that of Russell Westbrook from the Lakers. With how the way the salaries all break down, a third team would assuredly have to get involved in a trade sending Kyrie to Los Angeles.
With San Antonio holding all the cards here, it might come down to whether a team is willing to give up multiple draft picks or a highly valuable pick for them to play ball. After all, they're playing the long game while many other teams are seeking to win now.
After so many rumblings, a quake usually follows, so expect to see some major developments as Thursday's 3 p.m. ET gets closer and closer.