Three Trades The Spurs Could Consider For Point Guards

Now that Victor Wembanyama is finally a Spur, it’s time to build the team around him. All indications are that San Antonio will be patient in building the foundation around their new star. They want to build a team that fits the big man and gives him the best chance to succeed.

That includes filling the gaps that are on the roster right now. There is a noticeable hole at the spot shield position. Tre Jones is a restricted free agent who could command a big deal, Blake Wesley is largely unproven and Devonte’ Graham had an up and down end to the season. Some steady hands to help run the offense and add depth to an important position could help Wembanyama succeed.

Unfortunately for San Antonio, there aren’t many options on the free agent market. There’s Fred VanVleet, who will likely demand a $30 million annual deal, or perhaps Jordan Clarkson, whose talents may be worth more to a team poised to compete for a championship next season.

The trade market, on the other hand, bears a little more fruit. A few teams have guards rumored to be dangling on the trade market for future assets. The Spurs have about 30 draft picks through 2029 (subject to protected picks being conveyed) and $30 million in cap space to absorb salary. They are in the perfect position to acquire players without sending anyone on their roster in return.

Here are three trades they should consider to acquire a point guard for next season.

Monte Morris to San Antonio for pick

After trading Bradley Beal and then Chris Paul for draft picks and young players, the Wizards are in full rebuild mode. They also have an abundance of guards that include Tyus Jones, Jordan Poole, Johnny Davis, Delon Wright, Landry Shamet and Monte Morris. Reports have claimed that Washington could be looking to shed one of their veteran guards for more assets to fuel their rebuild.

Signs point to Morris be the odd man out, and is available via trade. He is 28 years old and is coming off a season in which he averaged 10.3 points, 5.3 assists on 48% shooting from the field and 38% from the three-point line. Morris was the starting point guard for the majority of Washington’s offseason. Despite the team’s struggles, Morris steered the ship with poise, posting a 5:1 assist to turnover ratio and defending adequately at the point of attack.

Here, the Wizards dump him for a heavily protected Charlotte first-round pick as well as two second-rounders. As we’ve seen this offseason, second rounders have more value than they have in the past. With the second luxury tax apron in the collective bargaining agreement, teams can use second rounders to acquire cheap young role players later in the draft.

With Morris and Jones, the Spurs would have two strong facilitators and perimeter defenders to run their offense. Jones rates slightly better statistically, but doesn’t provide the three-point shooting that Morris does. The two would create strong guard depth alongside Wembanyama.

Morris won’t disrupt ball handlers like Jones, but he’s holding them to .907 points per game. possession, good enough for the 77th percentile in the NBA. He can play on and off the ball from the guard spot, hit 36% of his catches and shoot threes. With years of experience playing next to Nikola Jokic in Denver, he can bring valuable veteran experience to a club that is getting ready to play around a ball-dominant big man who can play inside and outside.

A Killian Hayes game

Why not take a cheap flier on a lefty combo-guard who is on the outside looking for playing time? Detroit has Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey to handle the ball, and just added free guards Ausar Thompson and Marcus Sasser. Killian Hayes has struggled to find his footing with the Pistons and could use a change of scenery to develop into a player worthy of a top-10 pick.

His value should be relatively low given the new influx of young talent and his ineffective third season. Last year, Hayes averaged 10 points, 6 assists and 2 turnovers a game on 37% shooting from the field and 28% from three. He got a chance to start a majority of the Pistons’ games last season with Cunningham dealing with injuries. While his counting stats improved, he struggled to make an impact in the win.

Here, the Spurs buy low on the combo guard in the hope that they can develop him together with their young core. The Lakers’ 24 and Heat’s 28 second-round picks aren’t the most valuable, but give Detroit assets they can flip down the line as they get closer to contention.

In San Antonio, Hayes would compete for minutes with Wesley and Graham as the team’s backup combo guard. Instead of being used as a frequent pick-and-roll ballhandler, he could be used as a cutter and creator off handoffs where he was more effective in 2022. He should spend plenty of time in the gym with Jimmy Baron for to work on his jump shot to add floor spacing to an already shaky shooting guard. His international background also fits into the team they are building.

Hayes still has high upside with strong ball skills, good athleticism and good size for a guard at 6-foot-5. This is a chance for the Spurs to add a rebuilding project on the cheap. If their excellent track record of player development continues, they could have a key rotation piece on their hands.

Trying to create some magic

Because the trade engine is not updated, this image leaves out two more assets in the trade: the two Timberwolves second-round picks acquired for the 33rd pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

Cole Anthony is probably the player with the highest trade value out of the three listed. He’s only 23 years old and will be a restricted free agent in the summer of 2024. That means he would have a year to prove himself in San Antonio, and then the Spurs could extend him if he proves to be part of your future. . If he isn’t a key piece at guard moving forward, they could flip the young guard in a sign and trade next offseason.

Because of this value, the Spurs would have to give away the most in a trade. The 2025 Chicago pick has a real opportunity to convey, and the Timberwolves second rounders are likely to be of higher value than other seconds they can give up. The Magic have lucked out with the Bulls’ first-round pick, acquiring Franz Wagner and Jett Howard with two of their picks. With Markelle Fultz, Anthony Black and Jalen Suggs on the roster, piling on some draft picks might be enough to part ways with Anthony.

The Spurs would get a high-impact defenseman who averaged 13 points and 4 assists on 45% shooting from the field and 36% from three. Last season, Anthony held opponents to 39% shooting and 0.93 points per game. possession. That puts him in the 80th percentile of all defenders in the NBA, according to Synergy. Anthony would give the Spurs a strong attacking defense mixed with shot creation at the other end.

Anthony is best operating out of the pick and roll and is a drop coverage killer. He shot 43% on pull up threes out of PnR, and shot 49% on total attempts out of action. A pairing with Wembanyama would make for an exciting young duo at both ends.

Jones and Anthony would be an exciting guard duo that provides different things. Jones could play the role of facilitator and create chaos that forces turnovers, while Anthony gives the Spurs a scoring guard who has become a tenacious defender in his own right. It would cost them a bit more than other guards on the market, but could have the highest upside on the field.

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