Possible Trade Options for the San Antonio Spurs
The San Antonio Spurs currently sit at 30-8 on the season. Their current record is good for second place in the West, 2.5 games behind the ever-so-imposing Golden State Warriors.
Thus far, the Spurs’ offense has clicking on all cylinders, for the most part. Kawhi Leonard has elevated his game for yet another season and Pau Gasol has been a seamless fit in San Antonio’s free flowing offense. Patty Mills and David Lee have been great coming off the bench, with the latter rejuvenating his career at the age of 33
However, there are still a few areas for concern and plenty of room to improve. Tony Parker is not aging well and LaMarcus Aldridge is averaging a pedestrian 17 PTS and 7 REB, which are the worst his numbers have been since his rookie season.
With the All-Star break approaching, here are a few midseason trades that could help the Spurs improve on an already successful campaign. Trading Partner: Atlanta Hawks
San Antonio Receives
Paul Millsap Future Protected 1st Round Draft Pick
Atlanta Receives LaMarcus Aldridge
Hear me out on this one. LaMarcus Aldridge isn't a fan of being the second fiddle in the Spurs offense. It may not be translating to the team’s record, but he made it clear earlier this season. Additionally, his numbers have dipped, and the few flashes of brilliance are dimmed by the mediocre runs that have hampered his stats and overall production. Paul Millsap seems like a much better fit on the Spurs. The Hawks are actively shopping Paul, and would likely be glad to replace him with a player of Aldridge’s caliber.
Defensively, the Spurs improve with Millsap. While Aldridge has great range, he can't put the ball on the floor time and time again; Millsap can. Millsap is also a better passer and a more textbook stretch-4 and in today's NBA, Millsap matches up far better, especially defensively, against guys like Draymond Green. This deal makes sense for both teams.
Trading Partner: Miami Heat
San Antonio Receives
Goran Dragic 2018 2nd Round Draft Pick
Danny Green Patty Mills
The Spurs definitely lose out on depth here, but let's face it, Tony Parker isn't getting any younger and San Antonio would never trade the current cornerstone of their franchise, no matter how much his play deteriorates. Dejounte Murray is definitely promising, but he isn’t ready to lead a team with championship aspirations.
Miami, on the other hand, has made it clear they are shopping Dragic and would welcome two healthy, talented players with championship experience.
The Spurs would still have plenty of depth at shooting guard. For starters, Dragic has the size and the skill-set to play both guard positions unless there is an unfavorable match-up against a bigger guard. Then there is Jonathon Simmons who has surprised us all. Is he ready for a starting role? That remains to be seen. But he plays with heart and energy, and is definitely a presence at both ends of the court. The Spurs also have Kyle Anderson as an option who generally starts in Green’s place when he doesn’t play.
Trading Partner: Chicago Bulls
San Antonio Receives
Jimmy Butler Rajon Rondo
LaMarcus Aldridge Danny Green Bryn Forbes Future 1st Round Draft Pick
This deal would instantly give San Antonio the best perimeter defense in all of basketball, with arguably the two best perimeter defenders in the league, in Kawhi Leonard and Jimmy Butler. Seeing as how both players are also electric on the offensive end, the door will be open for Greg Popovich to experiment with some interesting line-ups. The Bulls are rumored to be actively shopping Jimmy Butler, and this deal would definitely make sense for them
Moving Butler would give Doug McDermott the opportunity to start and come into his own, which in turn helps spread the floor for the Bulls’ offense. This creates more space inside for players like Dwyane Wade, Taj Gibson and Michael Carter-Williams allowing them to score much easier. Another positive that the Bulls could take from this trade is the opportunity to move Rajon Rondo’s contract. It seems as though the relationship between the Bulls and Rondo is too damaged to be repaired, and change of scenery could salvage his season. This, however, would be a rather large risk for the Spurs considering Rondo’s previous history with strong-minded head coaches.
As good as the Spurs have been this season their roster is not void of imperfections. San Antonio needs a two guard that can be relied upon to score consistently, and play decent team defense and that should be the top priority as the deadline approaches. These are just a few deals that could bolster the roster now, and going forward.