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Spurs Trade Two NBA Players for a Second Round Pick

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(Thanks to PtR member Hideyori for posting this in the diaries.)

The Spurs traded the 22 year old Jackie Butler and the rights to Luis Scola to Houston for Vassilis Spanoulis, a future second round pick and cash considerations. Spanoulis' position, skills and age are meaningless because the man has made it clear he does not want to play in the US anymore (via SpursTalk).

"I've been trying for one month and a half to make them understand. This is crazy. Believe me, he sold everything, his car, his apartment. He is not coming back. I don't understand how they don't understand. He said, 'I cannot live there. I thought I can. I was very happy when I signed the contract. After eight months, 10 months, I don't want a single second more.'

"It's not about money. It's not about playing time. It's not about anything else. They could trade him to San Antonio and he could be the starting point guard, and he would he would say, 'No, I cannot.' "

Raznatovic said Spanoulis, who earned $1.8 million as a rookie last season, would repay the $350,000 buyout the Rockets paid Panathinaikos last season out of his next contract.

This is purely a cost-saving measure; a salary dump. From a fan's perspective, this is entirely inexcusable. Actually, it's more like a fucking travesty. Jackie Butler is a real-life 22 year old NBA center prospect who's actually produced some in the NBA. These do not grow on trees. Fairly tall European PGs who look great overseas but then fizzle in the NBA and end up flying home with their tails between their legs are a dime a dozen.

What I really don't understand is why the Spurs included the rights to Scola. A salaried player was required to make the contracts work; that "explains" the inclusion of Butler. The rights to Scola are not necessary to make the trade work under the CBA. So the Rockets demanded the Spurs offer more than an actual prospect in Jackie Butler for a guy that refuses to play in the US? And we didn't tell them to go eff themselves? Why not? Is the Spurs front office entirely inept all of the sudden? They couldn't find some other team (I don't know, say, not in your own freaking division) to take something for nothing?

It's one thing for ownership to cut salary, but they could at least do it without shaming the entire fan base with their ineptitude and subsequently forcing us to swallow a giant turd sandwich.