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San Antonio Spurs: 3 Trades to turn cap space into assets

Andrew Wiggins, Lonnie Walker IV
Andrew Wiggins, Lonnie Walker IV / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Andrew Wiggins, Lonnie Walker IV / Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Trade 2: San Antonio Spurs receive Andrew Wiggins, Pick No. 7 from Golden State Warriors for Lonnie Walker IV, Pick No. 12

Widely regarded as one of the worst contracts in the league, Andrew Wiggins has never quite lived up to the expectations of a No. 1 pick. A volume scorer with questionable decision-making skills and inconsistent defensive effort, Wiggins would effectively fill the gap left by DeMar DeRozan’s likely departure from San Antonio.

Though giving up that draft pick may not be ideal for the Warriors, the deal would free up a whopping $27 million in cap space to allocate elsewhere on the roster. With that money, the team can shed millions from its luxury tax bill while adding an explosive wing scorer to complement Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson on the perimeter.

For San Antonio, moving up five spots in the draft gives them a chance to draft high-end prospects including Scottie Barnes, Davion Mitchell, or Jonathan Kuminga, who will likely be gone by pick 12. While many Spurs fans would be sad to see Lonnie go, it would open more minutes for Devin Vassell to assume a greater role in San Antonio’s lineup. 

Though the public view of Wiggins has largely been that he’s a losing player, he has plenty of applicable skills to offer. While he’s not as effective as DeRozan, Wiggins can fill that shot-creator/downhill attacker gap left by his predecessor.

You may be surprised by Wiggin’s numbers last year. The 26-year-old averaged 18.6 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting from the field, a career-best 38 percent from deep, and 71.4 percent from the charity stripe. San Antonio would benefit from having a big wing who they can rely on to go get a bucket when they need it. Under head coach Gregg Popovich, Wiggins would be placed into a system that would hide his flaws and highlight his talents.

Trading for Wiggins doesn’t put the Spurs back into serious postseason contention, but taking his contract on to move up in the draft may benefit the team’s next pursuit of a championship.