5 Unpopular trades the Spurs should explore this summer

The Spurs should explore these trades to build a contender around Victor Wembanyama.

San Antonio Spurs, Victor Wembanyama, Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell
San Antonio Spurs, Victor Wembanyama, Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Spurs trade Keldon to the highest bidder

Keldon Johnson is in the first season of a four-year $74 million contract that declines. It only gets more team-friendly, but San Antonio cannot play multiple questionable shooters and defenders for 30-plus minutes every night and be a contender. Johnson is shooting 35.1 percent from 3-point range this year but has been inconsistent throughout his five seasons in the NBA.

His size and defense are concerns. Victor Wembanyama is already one of the best defenders in the NBA, but the Spurs need talent around him. Johnson is a 6’5 forward who has produced a negative box score plus-minus in four of his five seasons and rated as below league average by win shares per 48 minutes since his rookie season.

The 24-year-old continues to improve, but the Spurs should try to trade him for a 3-and-D wing or a point guard. They need a lead ball-handler to run their offense and someone spacing the floor who offers stout perimeter defense. San Antonio has a ton of draft capital and should try to couple it with a significant salary to upgrade their roster.

The Spurs will be in the market for a star this summer. It is their quickest path to moving into contention, but it won’t come cheap. San Antonio never overpays, but they may have to when building around Wemby.