The March 25th NBA trade deadline is three weeks away, and while the San Antonio Spurs are typically content to stand pat and watch the rest of the league wheel and deal, rumors of their activity in trade talks continue to surface.
Marc J. Spears of ESPN’s The Undefeated reported San Antonio was shopping LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan a week ago. And Shams Charania of The Athletic further substantiated that claim with a report detailing their latest movements as we approach the All-Star Break.
“The Spurs are receiving calls on their veteran players who are pending free agents — LaMarcus Aldridge, DeMar DeRozan, Rudy Gay, Trey Lyles and Patty Mills — and are listening to inquiries, sources said.”
From a logical standpoint, LaMarcus appears to be the most likely candidate to see a change of scenery. The soon-to-be 36-year-old is putting up the lowest points per game since his rookie season and has recently transitioned to a full-time bench role.
While Aldridge has battled nagging injuries and struggled to mesh with San Antonio’s up-tempo system, DeRozan has been superb as their go-to scorer and de facto closer. He still might find a new home, though his career year gives the Spurs cause for pause.
As for Rudy, Patty, and Trey, the latter is the only one who makes sense to move on from if the Spurs don’t want to break up their league-leading bench. That said, Lyles has played well as a spot-starter, and San Antonio can hardly afford to lose any frontcourt depth.
Despite the noise surrounding San Antonio, there’s no doubt PATFO have listened to and declined plenty of offers over the years. Picking up the phone doesn’t mean a trade is imminent, but it would be foolish not to test the waters and get a feel for the market.
The Silver and Black last made a midseason swap in 2014 when they shipped Nando De Colo to the Raptors in exchange for Austin Daye on their way to a championship. But times have changed, and the Spurs may potentially be looking to retool for a playoff push.