Have the San Antonio Spurs put a curse on their trade partners?

Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs
Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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Part of the San Antonio Spurs tanking away the 2022-23 NBA season in pursuit of the best draft pick possible was stockpiling picks. With plenty of future picks to be had, the Spurs could use the capital to trade up or simply build through the draft over the next couple of seasons. Either way, it looks like the Spurs have some direction moving forward and will have a winning basketball team fairly soon.

The Spurs' picks from Boston, Chicago, Atlanta, and Charlotte in their recent trades fall between the 2023 draft and the 2028 draft, with the team having ten first-round picks over the next six drafts.

Recent trade partners are falling down the standings

Oh, and the Spurs can swap with the Hawks and Celtics in 2026 and 2028 if they manage to post a worse record than the Spurs in those seasons, and thanks to a possible curse the Spurs have placed on their trade partners, that could very well be the case. 

The Atlanta Hawks traded a package of three picks and a swap for All-Star Dejounte Murray. The Hawks were looking to build a legitimate contender out east with two stars in the backcourt but have slid to ninth in the conference and have lost eight of their last 11 games. One of the picks the Hawks sent over belongs to Charlotte, and while it is protected through 2025, the Hornets are one of the worst teams in league with little optimism moving forward, aside from LaMelo Ball. 

The Chicago Bulls got off to a hot start last season after acquiring DeMar DeRozan from the Spurs in exchange for a 2025 draft pick, but the Bulls are imploding and have no clear direction moving ahead. 

I’m not superstitious, but it looks like the Spurs made the perfect deals to land as many young players as possible. The Derrick White deal saw the Spurs gain a pick swap in 2028, but the Celtics will realistically be a solid team through the end of the decade, so that was the exception to the rule. 

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With Atlanta, Charlotte, and Chicago in shambles, the San Antonio Spurs have poised themselves to capitalize on the downfall of their partners.

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