7. Buddy Hield - Sacramento Kings
This is a tough one. On one hand, Buddy Hield is a high-volume knockdown shooter who would quickly help the Spurs improve their timid 3-point shooting (they've been 29th in the league for most of the season). On the other hand, he's owed $20.5 million next season and then another $18.5 million after that.
Hield has also been one of the few players to show up in every game this season and has demonstrated that kind of durability throughout much of his career. Through Monday, Buddy has made more fourth-quarter 3-pointers than anyone in the NBA, Stephen Curry included, at 50. He's also hitting at a 43.1% mark in fourth quarters.
Hield has off-ball abilities similar to Doug McDermott but does everything Doug does better. Still, Doug's contract is worth $27.5 million over the next two years while Hield will be making just over $39 million.
Is Buddy's game impressive enough to warrant the significant pay increase and sending McDermott to the bench? I'll lean toward yes on this one, but he'd have to be willing to vastly improve his defensive game. Consider this verdict a whisper and not a full-fledged campaign.
8. Marvin Bagley III - Sacramento Kings
It's well-known that Marvin Bagley being chosen at second in 2018, ahead of Trae Young and Luka Doncic, was a mistake. The young center's journey with the Sacramento Kings has been rocky at best, as he's frequently been shifted from starting to being benched to being out of the lineup altogether.
This season, the writing appears to be on the wall that this will be the 22-year-old's last season in Sacramento. Even while not in the best situation, Bagley averaged 14.5 points and 7.5 rebounds per game in his first three seasons. He's an excellent finisher in the paint and has relentless energy around the basket.
It's easy to see a player like Bagley, who still has his whole career ahead of him, being re-energized in a new environment with a much richer winning history, and the best part is he probably won't cost that much. Even though the center position is already crowded, there's definitely some dead weight on the Spurs when it comes to bigs, and Bagley would be another project worth taking a chance on.