After another frustrating season, the San Antonio Spurs are poised to draft in the lottery for just the third time since 1997, having an 85.2% chance of selecting 12th overall in the upcoming draft. While that pick is still a valuable asset, particularly for a team in the process of rebuilding, the Spurs should aggressively look to move farther up in the lottery.
While the Spurs are known to draft well, it's unlikely that they'll find a franchise player with the 12th pick. Moving up in the draft, on the other hand, gives them a much better chance of finding their next star player. The Dallas Mavericks, for example, notably were able to trade up from the fifth pick to the third overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft.
The Mavericks were able to make this deal by including a top-three protected 2019 first-round pick. For the Spurs to be able to trade up from their spot in the lottery, debatably in a more talented draft class, they'll undoubtedly have to include even more in the deal.
The 2021 draft is generally viewed as top-heavy with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Suggs, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, and Jonathan Kuminga (in no particular order) seemingly being more or less solidified as this year's top five picks. San Antonio definitely has the assets needed to move up into the top five, assuming a team is open to trading back.
These are three potential trade scenarios for the San Antonio Spurs to move into the high lottery of this year's NBA Draft.