3. Worst Case: Buying Out Thaddeus Young
Strictly speaking about the team and its needs, a buyout of Thaddeus Young would be the least desirable outcome. Unfortunately, it also seems like the most likely of the three options right now. I'm not sure if the interest from Phoenix has since dissipated or if the Spurs are waiting until closer to the February 10th deadline to make a move, but things have gone silent on trading Thaddeus.
It would make sense for the Spurs to not want to help a fellow Western Conference team earlier than they need to, so there's still a chance they're waiting to deal him later. That would mean they actually have to make a dreaded in-season trade though.
Sources around the league are starting to lean toward the Spurs eventually buying out Young's contract, thus allowing him to join any team he wants going forward. This would mean San Antonio gets nothing from Young's tenure aside from some quality minutes for a couple of months and some veteran mentorship.
A buyout means the full return for DeMar DeRozan ends up being Al Farouq-Aminu, a 1st-round pick, a 2nd-round pick, and a 2022 2nd-round pick swap. While it beats the alternative of letting DeRozan walk for nothing (which was likely), it's still not the best.
With the trade deadline less than six weeks away, I expect the Spurs to receive some calls about their veteran forward. Time will tell how they'll ultimately handle the situation.