As what happens with any team that’s struggling, the rumor mill about a potential roster shakeup is alive and well. The San Antonio Spurs are now just 6-11 through 17 games after they finally snapped their longest losing streak in the Gregg Popovich era with a victory over the New York Knicks on Saturday night.
Recently, a report out of Miami detailed how the Miami Heat could be potential suitors for a trade involving either LaMarcus Aldridge or DeMar DeRozan. While purely speculation, the report puts together a number of interesting trade deals between the Spurs and the Heat.
Justise Winslow, Dion Waiters & Kelly Olynyk (or Meyers Leonard) for LaMarcus Aldridge or DeMar DeRozan
In this scenario, the salaries match up, but there are some issues. For one, the Spurs wouldn’t want anything to do with Dion Waiters. He has had several character issues that have caused team problems and led to suspensions, including one earlier this month after he allegedly overdosed on “special” gummies on a team flight. Somehow, I don’t see his antics going over well with Gregg Popovich.
All in all, any combination of those four players doesn’t look like enough for the Spurs to pull the trigger. Winslow is a talented player who improved a lot last year but he’s not what the Spurs would hope for as a centerpiece in return for Aldridge or DeRozan. Olynyk is a good backup big but he’s overpaid in his current contract.
Meyers Leonard is shooting an impressive 56% from three-point range, but overall doesn’t rebound the ball nearly as well as he should. Plus, it’s still too soon to see “Leonard” on the back of a Spurs jersey again.
Justise Winslow & James Johnson for LaMarcus Aldridge
While James Johnson is a better fit than Waiters, this still doesn’t move the needle much. With Johnson having a $16 million player option next season, the Spurs would require a haul of draft picks to even consider this option — and, by rule, the Heat can’t include any more first round picks in trades, so this offer is probably dead on arrival.
Goran Dragic & Justise Winslow for LaMarcus Aldridge or DeMar DeRozan
Goran Dragic is easily the best player mentioned as a tradable piece from the Heat. Still, this scenario also doesn’t make much sense for San Antonio unless they no longer believe in Dejounte Murray or Derrick White as future point guards and they want to build a win-now team powered by Aldridge or DeRozan (whichever one isn’t in the trade).
The Spurs could possibly try to flip Dragic to a third team, with hopes of getting back picks and young players. Additionally, the Dragic’s expiring contract would also be a nice incentive if the Spurs absolutely wanted to deal one of their stars and create cap space in favor of blowing it all up in the offseason.
While many Spurs fans are calling for major moves, particularly regarding the team’s two leading scorers, a deal with the Heat doesn’t seem like the best option. Down the road, if the Spurs are continuing to pile up loss after loss, maybe they’ll be desperate enough to strongly consider a midseason deal in favor of setting themselves up for the future.
For now, San Antonio would be better off being patient with their midrange specialists until something more enticing is offered.