The San Antonio Spurs got a head start on the NBA trade deadline Tuesday night when they agreed to send Bryn Forbes to the Denver Nuggets in exchange for Juancho Hernangomez and a 2028 second-round pick from Denver. Bol Bol and PJ Dozier will also head to Boston in the deal.
The move was the first in-season trade since last March when the Spurs acquired Marquese Chriss and cash from the Golden State Warriors in exchange for the draft rights to Cady Lalanne. The move had virtually no effect on San Antonio, however, as Chriss was waived soon after. Before that trade, San Antonio's last in-season trade was in 2014 when they sent off Nando De Colo for Austin Daye.
While the transaction is minor in the grand scheme, there are still several questions to address about the deal, beginning with why the Spurs made it in the first place.
1. Why did the San Antonio Spurs make this trade?
There are multiple layers to why the Spurs' front office went through with this trade. Transactionally, they're receiving a future unprotected second-round pick from the Denver Nuggets, which would be applied in 2028 when Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray are in their 30s. If San Antonio prefers not to wait that long, they can always include the asset in a future trade, as picks seem to be all the craze in recent years.
Secondly, the acquisition of Hernangomez is low-risk overall. The Spurs are noticeably light at the power forward position so could use an audition from the 26-year-old who's had a couple of seasons shooting over 40% from the 3-point line in the past. If he fails to crack the rotation or doesn't play well, however, he can be waived and save the Spurs $7.5 million in cap space heading into next year.
Lastly, the Spurs clearly wanted to ease up the logjam in their backcourt a bit, as Tre Jones and Joshua Primo both deserve more minutes down the road. While I would expect Primo to continue getting much-needed seasoning in Austin, his time in San Antonio could be coming sooner than expected.
After the jump, I address if we can expect Hernangomez to be in the rotation.