Breaking down how open Spurs would be to swapping each player

The San Antonio Spurs weren’t big players in the trade market, except when it came to helping other teams with fringe players or someone relatively insignificant. There were still a few surprises here and there — like trading George Hill for Kawhi Leonard and 2011 draft picks, Richard Jefferson for Stephen Jackson midseason in 2012, and so on. – but usually the trade deadline came and went without any excitement.

However, that started to change over the past five years after Leonard asked for a trade. The Spurs then became more open to moves initially intended to maximize the LaMarcus Aldridge-DeMar DeRozan era, then gaining assets in exchange for DeRozan as he left for free agency, and finally choosing a direction for the franchise. They eventually landed on a “tank”, which saw them trade Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, Jakob Poeltl and other veterans for future actives.

If the past two seasons have proven anything, it’s that no one at Spurs is truly ‘untouchable’ anymore, and with rumors currently circulating that they are looking to acquire another first-round pick to sign a point guard. . This will probably require moving a player or two to get other teams to play ball with lottery winners, so I decided to rank each player by how open Spurs are to moving them, from basically ” we’re all ears” to “don’t call again without your best possible offer.”

We will be looking at the ten Spurs who as of today are currently under contract for next season (including the unsecured Zach Collins) as they can in fact be traded, so it won’t include the likes of Tre Jones, Sandro Mamukelashvili, etc (You can click here to see where all of last season’s Spurs currently stand contractually heading into the offseason.) Starting at the bottom of the totem:

Do you have an offer? I listen…

Birch of Khem: Acquired from the Toronto Raptors in the Poeltl trade, Birch has yet to make it to suit the Spurs while dealing with ongoing knee issues. He’s an undersized center who will likely find himself outside the main rotation next season, so Spurs could possibly accept something as low as a few second rounds if they want to open up a place on the roster. . (Or even just give it up; they have the money.)

Devonte Graham: Also acquired mid-season, in this case from New Orleans for Josh Richardson, Graham theoretically brings much-needed outside shots into the Spurs backcourt, but he’s streaky and hasn’t been consistent for a few seasons now. Still, he’s a veteran who could be of interest to many teams and could bring in another solid player and pick(s) in return.

Charles Bassey: Now we get into players with at least some sort of personal connection to the club. Spurs clearly believe in Bassey otherwise they wouldn’t have signed him on a four-year contract (last two years not guaranteed). Still, while the back-up center position is likely his to lose at the moment, he’s still very expendable due to his contract and the fact that Spurs could easily get an upgrade to his position with all their space. of ceiling.

Blake Wesley: Wesley had a tough rookie season largely due to a knee injury, but also due to his brutality as a player. With Spurs so deep at shooting guard, his time to prove himself may be shorter than usual, but those are the breaks. Spurs are unlikely to be actively looking to trade him anytime soon – he still has huge potential – but he could just as well be included as a sweetener in any deal.

I’m listening to you, but it better be good…

Doug McDermott: I know, some of you will say McBuckets should be in the previous category, but I believe Spurs like him more than some fans. He has been an excellent leader and mentor for the young side, and his consistent shooting and movement off the ball is a huge boost to what was at times an offensively stagnant club. Plenty of other teams would also appreciate his presence, and while Spurs are likely to come up with offers for him, they shouldn’t accept anything that underestimates his worth.

Major Branham: Unlike Wesley, Branham proved his worth in his rookie season, enough that Spurs will certainly want to see more of him, especially as they work to increase their second unit’s score. Is it consumable? Sure, but Spurs won’t be actively looking for offers for him. At this point, he has earned his place.

Zack Collins: Already dubbed next season’s starting center by Gregg Popovich, Collins is exactly the type of center to place alongside Victor Wembanyama at the start of his career. He can expand the ground in attack while letting Wemby work low (and vice versa), while hitting with opposing crosses in defense while Wemby uses his length and durability to cover everywhere else. Collins will be on a steal of a deal next season, and it will be difficult to match his production in any trade at this value.

I’ll hang up unless your offer is too good to pass up…

Kelly Johnson: Johnson will enter the first season of his new contract extension as the heart of the team, last season’s top scorer and the only Spur under contract after next season (so far). He’s far from a perfect player – his away shooting gave him away last season and will need to improve – but he’s an established young veteran who would be of interest to many teams, especially any lottery team in the world. mid-to-late who thinks it’s “one piece away” and is willing to work with the Spurs to get that second first-round pick they desire. Even so, it will take a lot more to get KJ away from San Antonio (and not just to make the money work).

Jeremy Sochan: Spurs’ highest draft pick between 1997 and 2023, Sochan was a day one starter and showed massive improvement on offense in his rookie year. Spurs are very high on his upside and probably have no interest in letting him go, let alone wasting three more years of his talent on a rookie-scale contract. The only thing that makes him even the least bit expendable at this point is that he’ll need to improve his shooting enough to emotionally play wing (or maybe even point forward) alongside of Wemby.

Devin Vasell: Possibly the closest piece to untouchable currently on the roster, Vassell has the highest scoring advantage and the potential to be a perfect number two for Wemby. He looked the part until a knee injury hampered the second half of his season, but it’s easy to assume he’ll sign an extension this summer (which would come into effect in 2024) and likely demand the price. asked the highest Spurs if anyone is coming. a call about trade for him.

Blocked even for asking

The first choice in 2023, aka Victor Wembanyama: We have already established that this choice is close, otherwise THE the most untouchable asset in the league, and the fact that anyone would even suggest trade options is laughable.

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