Rumors heating up that Spurs will make play for big-name point guard

Chris Paul
Chris Paul / Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

After several seasons spent rebuilding, the San Antonio Spurs appear ready to hit the ground running once they select Victor Wembanyama first overall in the 2023 NBA Draft. That could mean the team going all in on a veteran point guard who can get their new centerpiece the ball.

Many expected that to be Tre Jones, at least in the short term, and perhaps a point guard the Spurs trade up for in the upcoming draft. However, according to a recent report from LJ Ellis of SpursTalk, San Antonio has bigger plans, though Jones still factors into them.

"I’ve been told that [Gregg Popovich] has stated a strong preference that the team re-signs Tre Jones. Since he’s a restricted free agent, the Spurs will be able to match any offer he receives in free agency."

LJ Ellis of SpursTalk

San Antonio could pursue a big-name point guard this summer

Ellis also mentions San Antonio could pursue a big-name point guard this summer, with Chris Paul and Fred VanVleet being their two obvious targets. Paul could be a nice fit, but he is unlikely to join the Spurs unless they trade for him. They could perhaps move Devonte' Graham and a couple of second-round picks in a deal with the Suns. Or, San Antonio could include a lottery-protected 2024 first-round pick via Charlotte to coax Phoenix into agreeing to a deal.

Acquiring VanVleet would be more straightforward, with him being an unrestricted free agent, though he may command around $100 million on his next contract. The Spurs may also have some competition with the Orlando Magic, who also have cap space to sign him, and even the Phoenix Suns, who could sign and trade for him.

The Spurs can offer as much as any team, but perhaps they shouldn't when they have so many picks at their disposal. Signing a starting point guard for around $25 million a season might actually be cheap for a recent All-Star. Then again, the Spurs could always have Jones start next season if they strike out on Paul and hope to select the point guard of the future in the 2024 NBA Draft. With two potential lottery picks, they could use them to trade up and take the best available point guard.

That would likely yield better long-term results since Paul and Van Vleet will turn 39 and 30 next season, respectively. Then again, it seems that San Antonio believes that Wembanyama is good enough to help them make the playoffs as a rookie. If he is, then they may not want to wait until next summer to find a future starting point guard in the draft and have to develop him. As a result, expect the Spurs to be very aggressive in their pursuit of a starting point guard this summer.