The draft is just days away and there’s not much suspense about what the Spurs will do with the top pick. Victor Wembanyama will be wearing Silver and Black next year. San Antonio won’t move the pick or take anyone else. It’s a done deal.
What happens after that pick, however, is more intriguing. The Spurs have two second-rounders, the 33rd overall pick and the 44th overall pick, but have been rumored to be wanting a second first-rounder.
Brian Wright addressed the media on Monday and acknowledged that going that route remains a possibility but the franchise is not willing to move Devin Vassell or Keldon Johnson to make it happen, according to the San Antonio Express-News’ Mike Finger:
Just for the sake of due diligence, asked Brian Wright if there’s any realistic deal out there that would make the Spurs open to dealing Devin Vassell or Keldon Johnso…— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) June 19, 2023
“No,” he said, before I could finish. Stressed how much the Spurs want to find out what this group can do.
The fact that Wright was so forceful in his answer not only provides clarity on what will happen on draft night but also offers some insight into what the franchise will focus on next season. Developing the core together is the short-term goal, so fans shouldn’t expect any huge changes any time soon.
That being said, those who were really looking forward to the Spurs having another first-rounder this year should still have hope, as Wright confirmed that it’s a possibility.
Package the two second-rounders together to move up? Wright said sure, maybe.— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) June 19, 2023
Use future draft assets to move up? Wright said sure, maybe.
Trade Vassell or Johnson? Wright said, “No,” flatly.
The two second-rounders might not be enough to get close to the lottery but could entice a team in the bottom third of the draft looking to save some money, as second-rounders don’t have guaranteed salaries. Adding either a future first-rounder from another team or even more second-rounders could potentially get a team closer to the lottery to part ways with their pick if there are no prospects they are enamored with available in that range.
As it’s normally the case in these situations, whether a deal is possible or not might just come down to how the draft plays out, but it’s good that the Spurs know what they want to do while still keeping their options open.