Although our young players are showing promise, and are a blast to watch, there is no doubt the 2022-23 Spurs are currently in rebuilding and asset acquisition mode. With a couple veteran assets to trade, and plenty of cap space to fill, the Spurs will certainly make moves at the deadline. Here are two realistic trades the Spurs might pursue before the deadline involving Doug McDermott.
1) Doug McDermott to the Miami Heat for Duncan Robinson and an unprotected 2023 1st round pick*.
This trade has something that both teams will like and something both teams will hate. Miami has underperformed so far this season and needs an offensive bump. It also needs to get under the tax a bit more so that it doesn’t become a repeat offender when it fills its final roster spot. I am also sure Pat Riley would love to get off the albatross Duncan Robinson contract ($16.9 million this year, $18.1 million next, $19.4 million in 2024-2025, and a minimally guaranteed $19.8 million in 2025-2026). This trade hits all those boxes.
Is Doug McDermott a game changer? No. Could he be the seventh or eighth man in a playoff-caliber rotation? Yes. Can he provide veteran three-point shooting off the bench? For sure. Is he on a reasonable contract ($13.75 million this year and next)? Mostly, and it’s definitely better than the Robinson one.
But Miami doesn’t give up an unprotected first for Doug McDermott. Miami probably doesn’t give up a protected first for McDermott. Miami gives up an unprotected first to get off the Robinson contract and gain a little flexible for additional moves at the deadline. In return, San Antonio has to eat some salary, has the opportunity to turn the oft injured and lackluster Robinson into a reclamation project and flip him down the road to a contender, and for its troubles, get what could be a great draft asset. Miami’s 2023 pick will likely be a mid-round first, but this is a deep draft class, there’s always a chance the wheels fall off, and if Miami misses the playoffs, this could be another shot at Wembayama for the Spurs. As for Robinson’s salary, while it’s bad, it shouldn’t hinder San Antonio’s rebuilding at all over the next couple years.
There’s a short list of teams that might be willing to part with their 2023 first round pick this year. Miami might be one of them.
* Though it becomes less exciting, I think this trade would still be worthwhile for the Spurs if Miami offers an unprotected first down the road in a later year.
2) Doug McDermott to the New York Knicks for Derrick Rose and Immanuel Quickly.
I’m not a Knicks fan. I generally tune out Knicks news with a darkly comedic chuckle about how inept the franchise is. But, after some quick googling, I’ve learned that they are in win-now mode, have too many guards and centers, and want to consolidate their talent. In particular, the Knicks are looking to move Rose, Evan Fournier, and/or Quickly.
This trade does that. The Knicks turn two of their trade pieces into a forward who can space the floor on a team that ranks 29th in three-point shooting. In return, the Spurs get a veteran on an expiring contract (non-guaranteed in 2023-24) that they can flip to a contender in Rose and a young guard who has flashed potential and is still on his rookie deal. I would love it if the Spurs could also get a draft asset, like Dallas’s top-10 protected 2023 first round pick, but I just doubt that would happen. Doug McDermott seems like a fair price for a veteran that could certainly be flipped for a couple of seconds and a young point guard who might still have something left in the tank if put in the right situation.
Hope you enjoyed this article fellow Pounders. You may see similar articles over the next few weeks and months about some of our other veterans. Let me know what you think and Go Spurs Go!