The 2021-22 NBA season will come to a close this week with either the Warriors or the Celtics emerging as champions. The off-season is fast approaching, also known as Christmas for many fans. Few things are more exciting than picking up your phone and seeing a Woj or Shams bomb.
That being said, in this article I’m going to give my thoughts on some names who could possibly land in San Antonio this summer. I’ll be breaking down the fit, a realistic avenue to acquire the player, and if I would like the move or not. Let’s get into it!
The clearest need for the Spurs is a go-to scorer. Dejounte Murray is a fantastic offensive engine, but you can’t really give him the ball and tell him to get a bucket. Having a guy who can do that would elevate this young, talented group to the next level.
Zach LaVine is one of the best in the business when it comes to bucket-getting, and he’s an unrestricted free agent this summer. Prying the two-time All-Star away from Chicago would immediately push the Silver and Black into the playoffs, and doing so is very possible. San Antonio will have over thirty million dollars to spend in free agency.
LaVine would likely eat up most of that cash. Is paying him the big bucks worth it? I think so. At just 27 years old, he would join fellow Seattle native Dejounte Murray (who turns 26 in September) to form a formidable duo that would be primed to compete for years to come.
I am all for Zach LaVine in San Antonio.
Former number one pick Deandre Ayton has thrived in Phoenix over the last couple of seasons. He and Chris Paul were a killer pick-and-roll tandem. Defenders were forced to decide between a pull-up jumper from one of the league’s premier mid-range assassins or a near-guaranteed finish from Ayton (an impossible choice).
Many reports as of late are saying Ayton is unhappy with his role with the Suns and claiming he will play elsewhere next season. The young Spurs seem like a prime landing spot for the young star.
The main reason for that is Dejounte Murray. While he isn’t the point god, the first-time All-Star operates very well in the pick-and-roll. His passing and mid-range game paired alongside Jakob Poeltl’s sweet finishing made for an effective weapon for the Silver and Black this past season.
An Ayton-Dejounte pick-and-roll would likely rival Phoenix’s death action, and that’s why bringing the big man to San Antonio seems like a no-brainer. I’m not so sure though.
Ayton is supposedly disgruntled in Phoenix because of his role. While he could definitely get more shots in a Spurs jersey, he isn’t an offensive hub at all and if that’s the kind of treatment he wants then I don’t want him.
Furthermore, he is a restricted free agent which means the Spurs would likely have to overpay to get him. Giving max money to a guy who would ultimately be a complimentary piece to Dejounte Murray doesn’t seem like the best option. Trading Jakob Poeltl and one of the young wings isn’t ideal either.
Overall, although I wouldn’t be upset if Deandre Ayton landed in San Antonio, I’m not really licking my chops at the idea.
The Hawks are reportedly shopping John Collins on the trade market, and the Spurs are one of the teams linked to the rumor.
I’ve seen skeptical fans on Twitter, but personally I really like the idea of Collins in a Spurs jersey.
He is an excellent roll man and lob threat which made him a great running mate for offensive phenom Trae Young in Atlanta. He’s also a career 37.6% shooter from deep and possesses a solid short mid-range game.
Not only would the high-flying forward’s versatile offensive arsenal fit well with the Silver and Black, Collins is also a true four which would allow Keldon Johnson to slide back to his natural position at the three.
I think Collins has All-Star upside in him, and San Antonio would give him the freedom to fully spread his wings. If he blossomed into a star, a lineup of Dejounte, Devin Vassell, Keldon, Collins, and Poeltl would be a really solid core.
So what would a trade for Collins look like? To make salaries match, Doug McDermott or Josh Richardson would likely be involved in the deal. Either veteran wing would be able to contribute to Atlanta’s rotation right away, but they obviously aren’t enough to get it done. Lonnie Walker IV, who showed some exciting flashes this past season, would need to be in the package as well. Add in a first round pick and that might be enough to snag Collins.
If the Spurs strike out on Zach LaVine, there is still another option in the bucket-getting department: Collin Sexton.
Since he missed most of this past season with a torn meniscus, people have forgotten how talented of a scorer Sexton is. In the 2020-21 season he put up an efficient 24 points per game.
The knocks on Sexton are his size, his defense, and his passing. The man is strictly about his buckets. Because of this, Sexton and Darius Garland don’t fit very well together in the backcourt. Two 6’1″ guards who can’t play D isn’t a winning recipe.
But while the duo called “Sexland” isn’t meant to be, I think pairing Sexton with Dejounte Murray would work well. Dejounte does everything Sexton can’t, allowing Sexton to focus on filling up the scoring column.
Sexton is a restricted free agent, and it seems likely that Cleveland will bring him back. But if they don’t, I think the Spurs should make a run at the young guard.
Take a moment and picture a lineup that features Dejounte Murray, OG Anunoby, and Jakob Poeltl. Three All-Defensive level guys would give opposing offenses fits. Even if you finally got past Murray or Anunoby on the perimeter, you would have to meet menacing shot-bloker Poeltl at the rim. That’s an idea to get excited about if you’re a Spurs fan.
Not only is Anunoby an exceptional defender, he’s an effective scorer who has improved his self-creation every year. He’s on the brink of stardom, and he could reach that in San Antonio.
Unfortunately, trading Anunoby would be difficult. He’s a very valuable player and the price to get him is steep. San Antonio would potentially have to part ways with Jakob Poeltl and/or Devin Vassell as well as some draft capital.
Some fans would pull the trigger on that deal in an instant, but I’m not so sure. Not only are you losing an elite anchor in Poeltl, you’re giving up on lottery pick Devin Vassell who could be as good as Anunoby if he reaches his full potential.
So while I love the concept of Anunoby hooping for the Silver and Black, I don’t think it would be the best move to acquire him.
Those are my thoughts on some possible off-season acquisitions for the San Antonio Spurs! Do you agree? Which one of those guys do you want the most? Who are some other players you want to see in San Antonio? Let me know! Thanks for reading, and see you next time!