Spurs rumors: Jalen Smith could be available in Young trade

Jalen Smith
Jalen Smith / Christian Petersen/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs could be in play to acquire the 10th overall draft pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Within weeks of obtaining veteran forward Thaddeus Young from the Chicago Bulls, The Athletic reported several contending teams had their eyes on prying him from San Antonio.

In his report, Shams Charania singled out the Phoenix Suns as having pursued the 33-year-old and still having interest. According to the latest rumors, there's a chance second-year forward Jalen Smith could be involved in such a deal.

On The HoopsHype Podcast, Michael Scotto spoke about what he's been hearing from his sources.

"Keep an eye on Jalen Smith, who's been made available by the Suns, according to multiple executives," said Scotto. "With the Thad Young talks and the Suns being involved, that's something to keep an eye on.

Smith's impressive second year at Maryland rightfully earned him a top-10 spot in last year's NBA Draft. In 31 minutes per game, the 6-10 forward averaged 15.5 points and 10.5 rebounds. Still, he didn't see the floor much for the surprising Phoenix Suns last season. This offseason, however, his Summer League play showcased his many talents.

Smith established himself as an excellent rim defender at Maryland and has a knack for rebounding on both ends of the floor. As Project Spurs' Ben Bornstein observed in his write-up of the big man last year, Jalen's offensive aggressiveness could stand to improve, but the natural athleticism and defensive motor are both there.

Adding 21-year-old Jalen Smith to the roster for Young would hold true to the direction the franchise is clearly taking aim at -- fully embracing the young core.

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While Thaddeus Young would bring an important veteran presence to the Spurs and could contribute in many ways, I don't see any reason San Antonio should pass up a prospect like Jalen Smith to keep him. It will be interesting to see if Brian Wright can work some magic with Phoenix to find a deal that works for both sides.