What to Expect from the San Antonio Spurs at the NBA Trade Deadline

Historically, the San Antonio Spurs haven’t been a franchise that makes a lot of trades. In fact, from March 2015 to March 2021, the Spurs completed a total of five trades. However, things are starting to change in San Antonio, as the Spurs have made six trades in the last year.

What has changed to cause the Spurs to be more active on the trade front? Most obviously, the franchise has embraced a youth movement for the first time in decades. But, more specifically, San Antonio is now actively using cap space and roster flexibility to add as much future draft capital as possible. In the last year, the Spurs added a first round pick from the Chicago Bulls and a handful of second round picks from various teams.

So far, this newfound strategy appears to be paying off. In the offseason, the Spurs traded for 2022 second round draft picks from the Detroit Pistons and the Los Angeles Lakers. As it stands, the Pistons’ pick will be near the top of the second round and the Lakers’ pick isn’t too far behind.

What Trades are the Spurs Most Likely to Complete at the Trade Deadline?

I expect the Spurs to keep adding to their draft capital. Thaddeus Young is far and away the most likely player to be moved. The 33-year-old has played limited minutes for San Antonio but his per-minute production is high enough that contenders will be interested in acquiring him. While getting a first round pick for him is unlikely, the Spurs should be able to get a second round pick (or two) in a deal involving Young at the deadline.

There has also been some talk of Jakob Poeltl being a wanted man around the league. If the Spurs were to trade him, it’d take at least a first round pick and an interesting prospect. San Antonio would likely ask for a similar package in order to part with Derrick White. I don’t expect Poeltl or White to get traded — but it’s certainly a possibility.

With the return of Zach Collins, the Spurs are now overloaded with center options. For that reason, I think it’s possible that San Antonio could trade one of their centers (a group that also includes Drew Eubanks and Jock Landale along with Poeltl and Collins) if an interested team dangles the right draft picks.

The only other player on the roster who stands out as possible trade bait is Lonnie Walker IV. Walker will be a free agent this summer and the Spurs may have already decided to move on from him. If that’s the case, it may just take another second round pick for San Antonio to part with him.