Spurs: Grading a trade that would net the Spurs two recent top-10 picks

Doug McDermott, Jakob Poeltl
Doug McDermott, Jakob Poeltl / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs have the longest streak in the NBA at the moment; unfortunately, it's a nine-game losing streak. This follows a surprising 5-2 start where it seemed as though the Spurs might be better than most expected. That doesn't appear to be the case anymore, and the team now has the fourth-worst record in the league.

In fact, the Spurs may lean into their downward spiral and look to trade some of their veteran players now that the playoffs and the play-in tournament appear to be out of the question. The Spurs may have no shortage of takers, and recently, Fanspo suggested an interesting trade involving the Spurs and the Golden State Warriors.

Should the Spurs consider the trade?

Under their proposed trade, the San Antonio Spurs would receive a 2026 first-round pick, James Wiseman, Patrick Baldwin Jr., and Jonathan Kuminga for Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl. As far as proposed trades go, this one isn't so one-sided, and both teams have reasons to do the deal or say no to it.

For the Spurs, it could offer them a lot of long-term value, starting with Wiseman. The former number two overall pick is now in his third season and has yet to secure a consistent spot in the rotation; in fact, he was recently sent down to the NBA G League, where he had a muted impact. He's essentially a lottery ticket at this point; he's not worth much now, but there's still a chance that he could pay off.

The Spurs need more of those players in the hopes that one pans out, and Wiseman could be that guy. A Poeltl for Wiseman swap works straight up, but in the context of this trade, it makes sense that the Warriors would have to include a first to help match value. The Spurs have reportedly been seeking two firsts for Poeltl and one for Richardson.

Assuming that the Spurs value Kuminga as the equivalent of a first-round pick, him plus an actual first puts the return value at two. If they include Wiseman and 2022 first-round selection Baldwin Jr., that could be the return the Spurs are looking for, value-wise.

Why the Spurs may not do the deal.

Still, there's the possibility that San Antonio doesn't value Wiseman, and one could argue that Charles Bassey has shown as much in his short stint with the team as Wiseman has with the Warriors, and he's much cheaper too.

The same could be said for Baldwin Jr., who, despite being a five-star college recruit, had a disastrous lone college season before being drafted 28th by the Warriors. The Spurs had three first-round picks in this year's draft and passed on him all three times, suggesting that they don't think he's all that good.

That basically leaves Kuminga and that first-round pick as the centerpieces of the trade. Kuminga is an interesting two-way prospect who has a lot of potential but has a shaky jumper, and the proposed trade doesn't specify the protections of that pick.

Assuming that the 2026 first is a top-ten protected pick for 2026-28, I could see the Spurs doing a smaller deal with Wiseman as a salary filler and wildcard, as well as Kuminga and a top-ten, protected 2026 pick for just Poeltl. The Spurs would have to either waive or trade a player to make that deal possible, but that would be a more realistic trade.

Would the Golden State Warriors say yes to the deal?

As for Golden State, Poeltl would provide them with a significant upgrade at center, helping to stabilize their bottom-five defense while also freeing up shooters with his screen setting and adding vertical spacing with his ability to finish as a roll man. Richardson, who is a far better shooter than Kuminga, would be their new backup forward.

He is more experienced and should provide them with more consistency. Doing the trade would mean that they'd have to give up on Wiseman, but he may be a sunk cost at this point, and they'd at least get some value by moving him for a better center.

Giving up a future first to improve now could be seen as the cost of doing business, while Kuminga is a player they'd likely try to keep. Therefore, I could instead see them offering an additional first-rounder instead of including Kuminga, which the Spurs are likely to accept.

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Overall, the trade proposed by Fanspo is a pretty good one, and I would give it a B, but a trade between the two teams probably wouldn't include Richardson, Baldwin Jr., and maybe even Kuminga. Despite that, the addition of an extra first-round pick could be enough to get a deal done.