These are dark times. Times when hints and rumors are floated by bottle down the San Antonio river, or sent in black envelopes through the W.A.S.T.E. system to Adrian Wojnarowski (because that's the only way he gets the scoops he gets right?). So has come the NBA Trade Deadline, when cloak and dagger no longer only stands as a euphemism, but actually means Marc Stein is scuttling around General Manager Offices with a black cloak and a dagger with "Nowitzki + Nash = Love" etched on the blade.
As we approach the precipice of utter darkness (the hour before the deadline), I must share something with you. I, your faithful PtR scribbler, has been receiving missives from his own secret sources over the past few weeks. Ever since the Spurs were listed as "unusually aggressive", I have gone into the dark, risking life, limb and overly complex metaphor to bring you the scuttlebutt below. Many Bothans died to bring me this information. Approach at your own risk.
Hot Spurs Takes
Patty Mills (G - San Antonio), Second Round Pick and Tony Parker's Rap Career for Bruno Mars (Multi-Instrumentalist - the Pop Music Industrial Complex)
The Scuttle: I was tempted to post this earlier, as it continued to gain steam as Mills and Mars skyrocketed up the public consciousness in late January. A confidential source indicated that Mills was aware of the trade talk, and was typically chipper about the news, apparently somewhat elated about the potential to play the Super Bowl Halftime Show in a fedora. Unfortunately, Mars' performance disappointed, and the spark of the trade as somewhat died with Mars' slide. Original terms of the deal, noted above, have been modified to exclude Parker's career. The Spurs now believe they can get Mars without including the requisite music tradeoff, additionally believing that Mars and Parker could serve complementary roles in the NBA Music Festival Competition, an event in which Matt Bonner is the only tangible Spur prospect.
My Take: There is a risk-reward to giving away someone like Mills, but Mars has been a consistent music presence for the past few years. Additionally, Mars' footwork goes considerably underrated, and could possibly fill a darting wing spot if he could ever take off the fedora.
Likelihood of it Happening: Less likely than the Suburban Moms For Bruno Alliance (very powerful PAC here in San Antonio) would have you think.
Nando De Colo (G - SA), Matt Bonner (F- SA) and Boris Diaw (Walrus - SA) for Strong Bad (Luchador - Homestarrunner)
The Scuttle: The Spurs have long coveted the smaller Bad, this is no secret. His community outreach is a favorite of Peter Holt's, and his uncanny talent for typing with boxing gloves on gives credence to his agent Pom Pom's promises of great hands. Bad was long thought to be the potential wing replacement for Richard Jefferson, but those talks have taken a backseat to Kawhi Leonard, to the chagrin of many within the organization. However, Bad hasn't been performing well for a few years, and his stock has dropped somewhat precipitously, instigating the Spurs' renewed interest. I'm being told by a source close to the Chaps Brothers that the potential snag here is the Brothers' unwillingness to deal with the Spurs unless they take Strong Bad's younger brother, Strong Sad, back in the deal. Nobody wants that, and most executives think the deal dies unless the Chaps come to the bargaining table. A rival GM said, however, that if the Spurs are able to wrangle Bad, they would be "a force for burninating, no question."
My Take: It's a big risk, giving up three players for a masked man whose hands we haven't seen in a few years. There's no guarantee that Strong Bad is anywhere near the man he was, and he's only conclusively beaten inferior, unarmed (literally) opponents. However, for all the international talent the Spurs would be losing, they would be gaining a massive fanbase in Strongbadia, reportedly one of Adam Silver's preferred destinations for an expansion team.
Secondly, and I hesitate to mention this because, unlike everything else here, this is little more than unsubstantiated guesswork, there was a shadow of a rumor the Spurs had floated Tiago Splitter's name for all three Strongs: Bad, Sad and the elusive, but potentially destructive, Mad. Perhaps nothing, perhaps something. We shall see.
Likelihood of It Happening: Ask one of the Teen Girls
Tiago Splitter (C - SA) for a Tiago Splitter's Weight in Mary's Breakfast Tacos in Kerreville, Texas (Various - Delicious)
The Scuttle: I only post this to dispel it. Despite Tiago's continued ornery-ness from his sore left calf, we have no cause to believe the Spurs would sell this low. Gregg Popovich is a man of discerning taste, yes. He is also not exactly a fan of Tiago's not playing hurt. Those two things put together, plus the widespread, virus-style hustle this rumor has made around the Spurs blogosphere at large would seem to indicate some realness to it. But I have it on good authority from a former intern of his wife's sister's cookie business that this rumor was intentionally leaked by Boris Diaw, who was simply trying to will himself into an unfathomable amount of the greatest food on Earth. Nothing to see here.
My Take: Were it to happen, Chorizo-Egg-Cheese, and two of them.
Likelihood of It Happening: The approximate likelihood Boris would share.
Danny Green (G - SA), First Round Pick for Rust Cohle (Det - True Detective)
The Scuttle: Cohle has been shooting up trade talks recently, and I'm not lying when I say everything I've heard is the Spurs are one of quite a few teams burning up the phone lines to get a hold of his agent, The Yearning Meaninglessness of Existence (who is associated with CAA). Cohle currently leads the league in eFNR% (effective Friedrich Nietzche Reference Percentage), a stat reportedly only a handful of teams have so far incorporated into their team building strategies (the Spurs, I'm told, were one of the forebears of this strategy). Most teams are rightly worried about Cohle's drug addled past and his ability to shirk any sort of rule without consequence for years. I'm told by a private league source that Miami and San Antonio both consider these factors minimal to the superior flanking and character abilities of Cohle.
My Take: I think this is a slam dunk, for a number of reasons. One, your beating the Heat to a prospect that could end up being the future of your team. Cohle is only in year one, and he's already a complete (if frequently speed fueled) wing. Secondly, a relationship with the talent scouts at HBO would go a long way to the Spurs preserving their brand for the post-Tim Duncan years. However, I think the Spurs are hopelessly outgunned. The Heat are reportedly offering two first round picks (rumored to be Jon Hamm and Bryan Cranston), Chris Anderson and Norris Cole. The two firsts go without saying, but a Heat gymnasium janitor tells me what puts Anderson/Cole over Green is that HBO believes Anderson can be an immediate plug in and play player for True Detective, which would be losing its star. Green is more talented, but certainly would have a steep hill to climb.
Likelihood of It Happening: Slightly more than the chance you'll see a better Steadicam shot this year.
[DISCLAIMER: VIOLENT, PROFANE]
Tim Duncan (GOATPUFF - SA) for Lego Batman (Plastic - Crusaders)
The Scuttle: Ok Spurs fans, prepare. The end is going to come. For those in the know, it's already here. Duncan is an ailing anchor on the Spurs, and might need to be sold for parts. Thankfully, the DC Comics Universe has made it very clear they think Batman is on the downswing of his career, and are willing to make a trade specifically for one of the younger iterations of the crusader. Spurs fans might balk at the sight of trading Duncan for anything less than immortal life itself, but PATFO have to take seriously an opportunity to send Duncan to a land of replaceable knees and legs, presumably so he can continue his life pain free post retirement. Only hindrance to this deal so far that league sources have been able to find is Popovich's wariness of Alfred's presence in the locker room, creating an environment of laziness and butlery. And, as yet, nobody has publicly asked Batman how he would feel about playing with noted Bat Killer Manu Ginobili.
My Take: Doubtful, for two reasons. The Spurs training staff has already expended its quota of masks, and neither of them were black enough to block the identity of the Plastic Knight. Also, nobody wants to deal with the ever present chance of the Joker showing up. But worth kicking the tires on... because he's Batman.
Likelihood of it Happening: Less than the chance of this movie stinking.
Obviously these are going to be troubling days for Spurs fans. Better get ready for the long winter to--
Stop listening to trade rumors. 99% of them. Just don't. Listen to them for comedies sake, sure. But the majority of the things you are hearing that don't come from Adrian Wojnarowski, Marc Stein, or less than a handful of others are either 50% bogus or the whole enchilada. It would be magnificent for the Spurs to snag somebody like Thaddeus Young, Evan Turner, Ersan Ilyasova (dependent on his shooting stroke returning, obviously), and maybe they will. But until it actually happens, or is reported by the above authorities, trusting rumors of the possibility of these trades happening is sort of like using Hollywood biopics as research paper material. Everything is doused with more than an ounce of utter nonsense, some to the point of being unrecognizable.
If the Spurs make a move, I'm sure we'll find out about it eventually.
If the Spurs don't make a move, we will almost certainly find out about it.
But seriously, let's get on that breakfast taco trade. That might have some upside.