Final Spurs Insider Info Prior to the NBA Trade Deadline

At midnight, the San Antonio Spurs started NBA trade deadline day with a bang. In a deal that has long been rumored, the Spurs traded Jakob Poeltl to the Toronto Raptors. In return, San Antonio will receive a protected 2024 first round draft pick, two second round draft picks and center Khem Birch. 

While Poeltl was unquestionably the primary domino, the Spurs will remain extremely busy at the trade deadline. San Antonio is engaged in a number of trade discussions that don’t involve Poeltl. In fact, shortly after breaking the news of the trade between the Spurs and the Raptors, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski had this to say about what San Antonio plans to do between now and the 2 p.m. CT trade deadline:

-With Poeltl off the board, the best asset the Spurs have may be their $25 million in cap space. No other team in the NBA has more than $9 million in cap space. Expect the Spurs to continue to try to monetize that space. 

San Antonio already got a future second round draft pick from the Miami Heat by simply absorbing Dewayne Dedmon’s $4.7 million contract. The Spurs will try to add more draft capital to their coffers by making similar deals. If the Spurs are willing to absorb a big enough contract, they may even be able to get a first round draft pick. 

 -According to a Spurs insider, more than half a dozen teams have offers on the table for Josh Richardson. San Antonio’s front office is asking for a first round pick. So far, teams are only willing to offer a second rounder for Richardson.

Will the Spurs blink? The insider says Richardson won’t be traded for a single second round draft pick. 

A Western Conference scout I talked to said the Spurs won’t be able to get a first round pick for Richardson alone but that San Antonio might be able to get a first by trading Richardson with another player or by taking on a bad contract.

-Outside of Richardson, the other player who has garnered the most interest in recent days is Zach Collins. A league source tells me that the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets and Milwaukee Bucks are among the teams who have contacted the Spurs about Collins.

Even though Collins is theoretically the starting center now that Poeltl has been traded, a Spurs insider reaffirmed that the team is still willing to trade him if the price is right. 

-A team insider tells me that the Spurs have talked trade scenarios involving Doug McDermott but only as part of a package deal with other players. If trading McDermott helps the Spurs land a first round pick, San Antonio would listen.

Like Richardson, the Spurs insider says the Spurs won’t simply trade McDermott for a single second round pick. 

-Multiple scouts have told me that the Spurs have shopped around Keita Bates-Diop in recent days for a second round pick. While Bates-Diop is having the best season of his career, San Antonio is open to trading him before he becomes a free agent this summer.

-What do the Spurs plan to do at center? Poeltl has already been traded and Collins could also be gone by this afternoon. 

The short-term answer, according to a source, is more minutes for Charles Bassey. In fact, the Spurs have kept Bassey in the G League recently for exactly this reason. 

Since Bassey is on a two-way contract, he can only play 50 games with the Spurs this season. So far, he has played 24 games. Since the Spurs have 27 games remaining, that means he can play in all but one of the remaining contests.

Bassey is averaging 4.7 points, 5.2 rebounds, 1.2 assists and 0.9 blocks in 13.6 minutes per game this season, while hitting 67.1% of his shots from the field. Despite that impressive production, he hasn’t played in the NBA in more than a month. Expect that to change very soon. 

-Dedmon, a 33-year-old center, is technically on the roster right now but a Spurs insider tells me the Spurs will release him if they aren’t able to trade him today. After releasing him, if San Antonio needs more center depth, the insider says the team plans to re-sign Gorgui Dieng. The Spurs also value Dieng’s leadership in the locker room.

-What does a successful NBA trade deadline day look like for the Spurs? Now that the Poeltl trade is done, the goal for the rest of the day is clear: find a way to get another future first round draft pick. The Spurs have $25 million in cap space, Josh Richardson, Zach Collins, Doug McDermott and a bevy of second round draft picks. Flip a combination of those assets into a future first rounder and that’d be a win for San Antonio.