After the San Antonio Spurs traded their all-star point guard Dejounte Murray Wednesday afternoon, it's been looking more and more like they're planning to head into a full-on rebuild next season and try to get a top draft pick in 2023. If that's the case, their next logical step would likely be offloading another one of their most valued players: Jakob Poeltl.
As the prospect of dealing Poeltl becomes more and more likely, fans and media outlets alike have presented their ideas for what a potential trade could look like. One trade proposal came from Utah Jazz writer Jonah Kubicek. He covers the Jazz over at The J-Notes, but he's also a contributor here at Air Alamo, so it's safe to say he knows Spurs basketball as well. Recently, Jonah devised a potential trade that would land Jakob Poeltl in Utah:
Grading the Utah Jazz, San Antonio Spurs trade
This trade would see San Antonio sending three players in total to the Jazz: Poeltl, Doug McDermott, and Tre Jones. In return, the Spurs would get Rudy Gay, Bojan Bogdanovic, and a 2023 first-round pick via Minnesota. On the surface, this trade looks to be pretty well-rounded, but let's take a closer look.
Sending away Jakob Poeltl and Doug McDermott would be a good move if the Spurs are truly trying to rebuild. Having two win-now players on the roster simply wouldn't make sense anymore. But the third player involved on San Antonio's side is where the logic doesn't quite work. If Tre Jones isn't traded away, he would likely become the starting point guard for the Silver and Black with Murray's departure. He can be a crucial part of the rebuild.
On the other side of things, the Spurs would net Bojan Bogdanovic, a fantastic role player and shooter. However, he's not a player the Spurs would realistically want around since they'll be positioning themselves for future success rather than immediate success. The same applies to Rudy Gay. While it would be fun to reunite with the former Spur, he doesn't reasonably provide what San Antonio is looking for at this point in time.
The Spurs Gain An Additional First-Rounder
The final piece of the trade coming from Utah's side is easily the most appealing. The Spurs would add yet another first-round pick to their already prolific arsenal of picks, giving them a total of six first-rounders between now and 2025. Since the pick is coming from Minnesota, where it lands in next year's draft will be based on how the Timberwolves perform in this upcoming season.
Seeing as they just added one of the top centers in the NBA to a roster that already went to the playoffs in 2022, it's more than likely that Minnesota's pick will land somewhere in the second half of the first round. Still, that's another asset that Brian Wright can use as leverage in future dealings if he so chooses.
In all, this trade would allow the Spurs to ship off two players that won't be useful during a rebuild while getting a first-round pick in return. They'd have to take on the contracts of two new players, but buyouts could always be orchestrated in the case of unhappy parties on either side. The only true negative would be losing a young, talented point guard in Tre Jones to the Jazz.
If this were the best offer they had on the table, the Spurs should pull the trigger on this one.
Final Grade: B+