It’s been nearly two months since the Spurs traded Kawhi Leonard, but that doesn’t mean details about other trade inquiries aren’t still coming out. There had been much talk about a potential trade with the Philadelphia 76ers due to their young, high-upside assets, cap space, and ties to the Spurs via head coach/interim GM Brett Brown.
According to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Spurs were very interested in striking a deal with their former assistant coach, but it never came to pass for one big reason:
On The Lowe Podcast, ESPN’s Zach Lowe said the Spurs wanted “one of the two big guys” in a potential trade, referring to Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.
”There is no evidence that the Spurs wanted Markelle Fultz,” Lowe said on his Lowe Post podcast. “I’ve been told the Spurs never asked for Fultz, and actively didn’t want Fultz, and in fact wanted one of the two big guys.”
Basically, the 76ers weren’t interested in parting with Embiid or Simmons, and the Spurs weren’t interested in Fultz. Leonard probably didn’t help the Spurs cause with his vocal determination to play in Los Angeles and unclear health status, so it’s understandable that Philly wasn’t willing to part with either of their two big guns. It’s also completely understandable that the Spurs weren’t interested in Fultz due to their abundance of guards and his own mysterious health status that marred the former top draft pick’s rookie season.
Regardless, the Spurs got a good haul of All-star DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl from the Toronto Raptors, which already sounds like a better deal than Fultz and what we can assume was some role players.