San Antonio has seen the first half of their regular-season schedule lurch off the rails as health and safety protocols and inconsistent performances have kept them at the base of the Western Conference standings. Though the Spurs are in 12th place, they are only a couple of games from entering the play-in picture with more than enough time to turn things around.
The Silver and Black may not be in the national limelight, but the latest SB Nation Reacts poll revealed how fanbases across the NBA view their team as we approach the trade deadline. Who might be on the move in the next few weeks? And which rookies have shined enough during their first taste of professional action to garner year-end award consideration?
From Jalen Green to Josh Giddey to Scottie Barnes, San Antonio has run into a handful of impressive rookies this season. And while each of them has shined in stretches throughout their matchups with the Spurs, Evan Mobley set himself apart as a two-way difference-maker.
The third overall pick of the 2021 NBA Draft has averaged 15.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 1.7 blocks per game while helping Jarrett Allen anchor the third-best defense in the league. The Cleveland Cavaliers are turning heads, and Mobley is a catalyst for their success.
As for the Silver and Black, first-year players don’t often get a chance to earn significant minutes, and that trend has held thus far. Josh Primo, Joe Wieskamp, and Jock Landale received extended court time when COVID-19 swept through the ball club, but they have mostly been afterthoughts when San Antonio is healthy.
Landale seemingly carved out a role as the backup center this December, but Drew Eubanks has resumed his position as the first big off the bench. Primo had flashes of brilliance when called up to the NBA, though he has returned to the Austin Spurs for more G League seasoning alongside Joe Wieskamp, Devontae Cacok, and Zach Collins.
The NBA trade season is right around the corner, and teams have already started wheeling and dealing ahead of the deadline. Several veterans are on the rumor mill, and Rockets fans think Eric Gordon will find a new place to call home outside of Houston in the coming weeks.
Gordon has been a staple of the Rockets for the last six seasons, but his role has diminished as they have entered a full-throttle rebuild. With that said, the 33-year-old sharpshooter showed his worth to contenders as he went off for 31 points in an upset over the Spurs a week ago.
Spurs fans concocted all sorts of hypothetical trades before the season began. And PATFO finally pulled the trigger on a three-team deal earlier this week that shipped Bryn Forbes to the Denver Nuggets for Juancho Hernangomez and a protected 2028 second-rounder.
San Antonio usually sits out the midseason transaction frenzy. However, more moves could be on the way. The Spurs are still searching to find an appropriate suitor for Thaddeus Young, and there are rumblings that the Phoenix Suns are interested in the small-ball center.