On February 9, the San Antonio Spurs traded Josh Richardson to the New Orleans Pelicans in a deal that included Devonte' Graham. While Graham was a throw-in used to match salaries, he's played well for the Spurs thus far, including a memorable debut.
However, the Spurs' roster has been in a near-constant state of flux in recent seasons, with veteran players often being traded for draft picks. Graham may eventually be on the move, but will the Spurs look to do so over the summer? Let's take a closer look.
Graham has been a good fit for the Spurs.
Graham has two seasons remaining on his contract and will make $12.3M on average over that span. That's an affordable price for a backup point guard, and the rebuilding Spurs could use more of what he brings to the table. Graham isn't a ball-dominant guard due to his shooting ability, which makes him a threat from outside.
That's useful since the Spurs have players such as Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell, who need the ball to score but aren't good enough to be the primary ball handlers yet. Graham can bring the ball up the floor, initiate the offense, play off-ball, and knock down open threes. That's something that Tre Jones and Blake Wesley can't do with the same consistency.
Of course, he can also play on-ball, shoot off screens, and create some for others, giving the Spurs more of an offensive threat at point guard. Considering that the team's point guard situation is up in the air heading into the offseason, with Jones set to become an unrestricted free agent and the Spurs potentially drafting one, having Graham on the books is a good thing.
Will the Spurs trade Graham this summer?
Then again, the Spurs have been in asset acquisition mode for the last couple of seasons. They traded Derrick White to Boston in a deal that landed them Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and the pick that became Wesley. They later traded Richardson for Graham and four second-round picks. Therefore, it seems likely that Graham could eventually be on the move, though perhaps not this summer.
With two full seasons left on his contract and Graham in his mid-twenties, the Spurs could keep him around and see how he fits with next year's team, which figures to be more talented. If they hold onto Graham, he could play a more significant role than in previous stops, which might increase his market value.
Graham could be a valuable and affordable rotation player for the Spurs. While they will eventually need to carve out minutes for Wesley to play consistently, they don't have to do so immediately. As a result, Graham will probably be back next season.