3. Buyout market
This is a hot topic every year after February’s trade deadline. Veterans agree to give back a small amount of money left on their contracts to become free agents. Usually, they are searching for a contender to play on, but the Spurs could offer more playing time and additional dollars in the race for those veterans.
Victor Wembanyama being transcendent from opening night would help San Antonio’s chances. If they are near the bottom of the standings, the Spurs will likely shut down the 7’4 big man and play out the remainder of the season with winning not front of mind. That would make them a non-factor in the buyout market.
Players want to play in San Antonio. Look no further than Damian Lillard in his recent trade request. If the Spurs are competitive, talent will follow. They have the draft capital and ability to make a massive splash in the trade market that could quickly make them a contender. The Spurs want to wait for Wemby to develop, but it could happen quickly in the Alamo.
The San Antonio Spurs are unlikely to use this tool this season, but expect them to be in the thick of it as Wembanyama reaches his prime.