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Spurs trade deadline day grades

For the first time this century, San Antonio fans get to see what it feels like to support a team that actually makes deals at the trade deadline.

NBA: San Antonio Spurs at Boston Celtics Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs gave their fans something to react to on deadline day for the first time in a long time by making two moves in the final three hours before the trade moratorium. One was expected, the other was more of a shock.

Beginning with the first one:

Thad Young, Drew Eubanks & Detroit’s 2022 second round pick to the Raptors for Goran Dragic & Toronto’s 2022 first round pick (protected 1-14).

Ever since Thad Young was traded to the Spurs in the sign-and-trade that involved DeMar DeRozan to the Bulls, it had been expected that San Antonio would move on from the 33-year old veteran. It became more obvious once the season got underway with Young not being involved in the rotations unless the Silver & Black had injury or COVID issues.

There was a growing sense as the deadline got closer that the Spurs would have to end up buying out Thad Young and losing him for nothing, but Brian Wright struck gold with this Raptors trade. San Antonio got a valuable asset back (1st-round pick) while also maintaining their cap space. The first round pick will most likely be conveyed due to the fact that the Raptors are in a strong spot to qualify for the playoffs, and with Thad Young now there, the chances grow even higher.

The other part of the trade was that the Spurs received point guard Goran Dragic, who hasn’t played all season. It has already been reported that San Antonio and Dragic will come to a buyout agreement and the Slovenian veteran will look to join a contender.

Lastly, Drew Eubanks departs the Alamo City. The backup big had done an incredible job to get a full NBA contract after going undrafted a few years back. It has already been confirmed that Drew has been waived by Toronto, so we wish him the best and hopefully he lands somewhere soon!

Spurs Trade Grade: A

And now the more surprising trade:

Derrick White to the Celtics for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, Boston’s 2022 first round pick (protected 1-4) & 2028 first round pick swap.

This trade is incredibly bittersweet for the Spurs as they pivot away from Derrick White by sending him to the Boston Celtics. Derrick had been a mainstay in the Spurs rotation ever since the 18-19 season when Dejounte Murray was injured. He had an incredible playoff series against the Nuggets with a virtuoso performance in game 3.

The Spurs have a plethora of guards and with Dejounte taking the leap he has and the combo of DJ and White not being anything more than a 0.500 winning combination, the Silver & Black took the chance to cash in on the Colorado Native. White still has three years on his deal after this season at 16-18 million per. The Spurs will open up future cap space by shipping Derrick to the east coast.

In return the Spurs add to their treasure chest of assets with another first round pick. They now will have three 2022 picks in the first 30 selections. They also have a 2028 swap, a year in which the Spurs may be back near the top of the standings and the Celtics near the bottom. So having the ability to swap first round picks that year could be a stroke of brilliance by the front office.

San Antonio also got two players back in the deal, both with a year and a half left on their contract. First is Josh Richardson who has come on strong as this season has progressed and is shooting nearly 40% from three. He is a bit inconsistent in that department with him shooting 33% the year before. He is a good two-way player and can add depth to the wing rotation, and also valuable enough that the Spurs could get additional draft assets back for him this summer or during next season.

The Spurs also got 22-year old Romeo Langford. The third year guard/wing was the 14th pick in the draft and has untapped potential. There are no guarantees that he will be able to show that potential in San Antonio, but with him still being on a rookie scale deal the Spurs will have 18 months to see what he has got.

Spurs Trade Grade: B

Spurs Current Roster:

PG: Dejounte Murray - Tre Jones - Tomas Satoransky - Goran Dragic (Expected Buy-out)

SG: Devin Vassell - Lonnie Walker IV - Josh Primo

SF: Keldon Johnson - Josh Richardson - Romeo Langford - Joe Wieskamp (Two-Way)

PF: Doug McDermott - Keita Bates-Diop - Devontae Cacok (Two-Way)

C: Jakob Poeltl - Zach Collins - Jock Landale