One of the biggest moves during the last offseason was when the San Antonio Spurs sent first-time All-Star Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for a package of draft picks. Atlanta is doing well, currently sitting third in the Eastern Conference, while Murray continues to terrorize opponents on both ends of the floor.
The Spurs are doing better than expected, for what that’s worth, but they are yet to find a difference-maker to propel the franchise forward. Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell are definite first and second options on a contender, but the Spurs do not have the X factor in pushing them over the top.
The Hawks and Spurs could strike another deal
According to a recent report by HoopsHype, the Hawks are playing well but are in salary cap hell. John Collins and Clint Capela are on the front lines to be traded away, and the Spurs could be the team that pitches an offer.
I’ve drawn up the offer of Collins, Capela, and a 2024 first-round pick via the Kings for McDermott, Jakob Poeltl, and Richardson.
Capela and Poeltl are pretty comparable players. Both are elite rim protectors who cannot do much outside of the paint and solid rebounders who are double-double threats every night. The Hawks are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the league, and Richardson and McDermott would just add to that. The Spurs have been tied to Collins for several years now, although they might not need him now.
Jeremy Sochan complicates this trade scenario
John Collins is regressing as a three-point shooter, but he is presently a better defender and rebounder than Sochan. There is no way the Spurs could throw both in the starting five, so one would get moved to the sixth-man position. It’s an either-or at this point, as they are comparable talents and players.
The Hawks would have to attach a pick to the deal just because Collins has four years left on his deal, and Capela has three. It would take away some of the roster flexibility the Spurs have enjoyed, and with Richardson and Poeltl both on expiring deals, the Hawks could have some fun in upcoming free agency.
A deal like this would allow the Spurs to get slightly younger and horde more picks, but free agency would be a bit of a doozy next season. The trade does free up a roster spot for a potential free agent signing if the Spurs wish to improve now.