As Thursday’s trade deadline approaches, it appears the San Antonio Spurs trade options are dwindling. The two possible trade rumors, talks with the Utah Jazz and the Atlanta Hawks, have appeared to reach an point of little to no progress happening.
According to Comcast NBA Analyst Ric Bucher, it seems Smith wearing the silver and black may not become a reality.
“The Jefferson rumor never had substance to it because it would've put San Antonio into a difficult salary-cap position. The Smith interest apparently died upon discovering that Josh simply didn't have the requisite Spurs' DNA.”
I am not sure what “having Spurs DNA” entails, but I view Smith in a similar manner as I view Stephen Jackson.
Both are players that have a wild and edgy side that when channeled can allow him to be a key cog in an extended playoff run.
The Spurs in the past have been able to take players that you don’t think the Spurs would go after (see Glen Robinson and Stephen Jackson) and have them fall in line with what the team expects of its players. The players who are able to check their ego at the door are able to enjoy a success while others who can’t don’t last long with the team.
In addition, Bucher says former Minnesota coach Sam Mitchell feels Smith would be a good fit with the Spurs and help his development.
"… playing for the Spurs would be a great benefit to Smith and I agree; he's never struck me as a malcontent or bad guy or purposely undisciplined. He might not have Spurs' DNA now, but I believe he wouldn't reject a transfusion and it would make the most of the raw talent he clearly has.”
The lack of an established and structured system, and a coach who had the authority to players in check allowed Smith to freelance on both the offensive and defensive end.
Smith has the athletic ability is something that is short supply currently with the Spurs. With the second team, Smith will be allowed to use his athletic ability on the offensive end, and protect the basket on the defensive end.
Coach Greg Popovich will allow Smith a little freedom but make sure he knows how things are done in San Antonio.
The Spurs have always played their hands close to the chest during the trade deadline. Not much news was made before the Richard Jefferson with the Milwaukee Bucks occurred. So rest assured, one thing is for sure is we will not know the true answer until the trade deadline has passed.