Air Alamo staff debate: proposed mock trade is a massive win

San Antonio Spurs, Josh Richardson
San Antonio Spurs, Josh Richardson / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs have been included in mock trades all season long. Some have seen the Spurs grossly overpay for single draft picks, and the others have been rather favorable, with future assets in return for established players, which is exactly what the Spurs are looking for. 

This article is part of a debate series. Read the other side here

In a recent mock trade from Fanspo, the Spurs send Josh Richardson to the Kings for center Richaun Holmes and two future second-round picks. 

Richardson has been included in trade rumors all season, and it seems all but certain that he will be a trade deadline piece that isn’t long for the Silver and Black. While the picks are not the first-rounder that the Spurs wanted, two seconds in some very deep drafts with players on skid radar could end up being rather valuable. I think the real asset in this deal is Holmes. 

Holmes has been on the Spurs’ radar for quite some time, and for good reason. He has been pushed out of the starting spot thanks to the arrival in Sacramento by Domantas Sabonis, but he was a starter in the three seasons before that. During those campaigns, he posted 12.5 points, eight rebounds, and 1.3 blocks. Compare that to Jakob Poeltl’s 11.2/8.7/1.6 as a starter in San Antonio. Sure, Holmes is two years older than Poeltl, but he is under contract until 2025, receiving about $12 million each season, as opposed to Poeltl’s upcoming free agency. 

I’ve recently suggested that Richardson should stay a Spur, and the two second-round picks aren’t exactly a massive splash in the bucket, but the Spurs could use the addition of Holmes to flip Poeltl or even Bassey and Collins. With Holmes inbound, the Spurs could easily sell two of their three bigs for even more draft capital as the NBA standings remain without a clear frontrunner.

I can already hear what people opposed to this trade are saying. “But Poeltl is a solid passer for his size and excels as a playmaker.” I’ll grant that. Holmes is not an elite playmaker, but Vassell, Jones, and Sochan are all. The Spurs don’t need a facilitator down low when they can surround Holmes with passers. Holmes is on a team-friendly contract as a starter and could fit in well with the current roster. Sochan and Johnson play with high intensity, and Holmes has an in-your-face style of play that would complement the up-tempo Spurs rather well. 

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The return, outside of Holmes, isn’t amazing, but the doors it opens are limitless. With Holmes in town, Poeltl could be flipped for two picks with no issue, or Collins and Bassey could be sent out if no one wants to overpay for Poeltl. I’m not ready to grade this trade an A+, but the possibilities attached to it make me strongly consider it.