The San Antonio Spurs are facing an unprecedented fourth straight season of missing the playoffs if they don't significantly improve in 2023, and one reporter thinks they might intentionally do so.
It's still way too early to tell what teams might be jumping into the sweepstakes for one of the most highly-anticipated NBA Draft prospects ever, but the fact that Victor Wembanyama's name has already been floating around for a couple of years says something. The 18-year-old French forward stands at 7-2 and appears to posses the game of a player that can somehow play all five positions.
It's no wonder, then, that some NBA reporters are already talking about who might be in play for someone that could end up being a generational talent. On Sunday, BasketballNews.com's Evan Sidery took things a step further, bringing the recent Dejounte Murray trade rumors into the fold.
Does the theory of the Spurs tanking for Victor hold water?
In a way, I can kind of see where Sidery is coming from with his overall sentiment. From an outsider's perspective, it doesn't really seem wise for a team to trade their best player fresh off of his best season unless they're ok with being worse next season. Such a move would almost assure the Spurs have a losing record in the short-term while giving them assets to seriously rebuild in the following few years.
Still, to say this is a reach would be an understatement. First of all, the Spurs have made it clear time and time again that they're not interested in losing on purpose. They're not about to waste Coach Popovich's twilight years on losing as many games as possible -- not this young, excitable crew.
Any trade involving Murray would likely signal GM Brian Wright sees the writing on the wall that he'll be wanting a wanting a maximum deal very soon, which could handicap the franchise in terms of keeping a winning cast around him. Would it result in more losses? That's very likely unless San Antonio is able to coax another star to the Spurs, which doesn't seem in the cards.
Is a transformative talent like Wembanyama worth punting on a full season? Maybe to some. Like it or not, though, San Antonio just doesn't operate that way.