San Antonio Spurs Rumors

Spurs, Pacers could benefit from desperate Lakers with this Westbrook trade

Gregg Popovich
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San Antonio Spurs
Doug McDermott / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

This trade could help the Spurs in the long-run and the Lakers now

The basketball gods willing, the Spurs will select first or second in next year's draft and get their hands on Victor Wembanyama or Scoot Henderson. Having either paired with Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell could get the Spurs back into title contention much sooner. The Spurs also have quite a few recent first-rounders, five to be exact, and are still figuring out who will be a part of their long-term core.

As a result, adding more young players to this group probably isn't a top priority. Instead, acquiring picks that are far into the future makes the most sense, especially if there's a decent chance that it will be a lottery pick. Imagine having a group led by Wembanyama or Henderson as the team's best players and adding a top-10 pick to that. Very tempting.

What about the other teams? The Pacers getting a future first for Hield, who isn't a part of their future, is a win. They may also have to give up a highly protected second-round pick or cash to the Spurs, or vice versa, to make the hypothetical deal legal, but that shouldn't be an issue. As for the Lakers, they're actually the wild card. Hield, Richardson, and McDermott would suddenly give them a wealth of shooting after starting the year tossing bricks up at the rim. Don't believe me? Through four games, they're shooting 22.3% on 37 3-point attempts per game.

That's historically bad. Adding three shooters who are well above average would solve that problem, improve their last-place offense, and, when paired with a top-five defense, turn them into contenders. Still, two lightly protected firsts are a lot to give up, and if the Lakers make a smaller deal for just Hield or for Richardson, they could give one of those picks. By making the larger trade, they'd also be adding at least $33 million in salary for next season when they were expecting to have around $68 million in cap space.

But there are still ways to make a deal more appealing for the Lakers.