Despite the numerous rumors surrounding the organization, the San Antonio Spurs stood its ground at the trade deadline. You might wonder if this was the right thing for it to do. Well the answer is a lot more complex than a simple yes or no.
The Spurs were reportedly interested in Stanley Johnson from the Detroit Pistons and Willy Hernangomez, who played for the New York Knicks before being dealt to the Charlotte Hornets a day before the deadline.
Marc Stein of the New York Times reported that one of the deals discussed included the Spurs sending Danny Green and a first round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Bradley.
How the Deadline went
This deal didn’t really make a whole lot of sense at first from the Spurs point of view. Bradley obviously isn’t the same player he was with the Boston Celtics last year, and a plethora of NBA teams have shown you could obtain some high quality players with a late first round pick.
I would also rather have Green on my team right now than Bradley. It’s a good thing the Spurs didn’t make this particular trade. I personally would’ve liked to see the Spurs attempt to try and structure a deal around Patty Mills and Bradley. This is given Dejounte Murray and Tony Parker are the top two point guards on your depth chart.
Imagine the defense you could’ve had with a Murray, Bradley, and Green lineup. That’s not even taking into consideration that Kawhi Leonard, the two-time Defensive Player of the Year, will be back eventually.
That’s the problem though. With no timetable for Leonard’s return available, the Spurs lack play-making. They may have short term trouble the rest of the season as they have one of the league’s hardest remaining schedules.
So it does hurt the Spurs in that sense. To be completely honest, they don’t really have that many options to being with. Bradley wasn’t the answer to the Spurs play making issues. For the play makers who were dealt, it’s hard to envision a package the Spurs would’ve put together without including major asset.
The other difficult part is that the Spurs are stuck with some contracts no other teams would even think of taking. I’m sure other teams out there would love to have Pau Gasol, but not at 16 million dollars a season. The players who do have good contracts are the key players the Spurs wouldn’t want to get rid of.
What it has done before
The way it does help long term is that they didn’t have to part ways with some young assets such as Davis Bertans, Brandon Paul, or Bryn Forbes. We’ve seen the Spurs develop lesser name players into stars before. Who’s to say this can’t be the beginning of that.
With all the different injuries and situations the Spurs have had to deal with this season, they still sit at third place in the Western Conference. They can drop from third place in an instant with one of the leagues most difficult schedules.
Nonetheless, I do think the Spurs made the right decision by not forcing their way into a trade. None of the players they were attached to were going to solve their short term issues. Instead, they keep their young players and continue to develop them.