Deal or No Deal? Predicting what the Spurs do at the trade deadline

PSN illustration/Credit: @spurs

The Spurs are less than 12 hours away from their last opportunity to improve (or strip down) their roster via trade.

Sitting 3.5 games out of the eighth seed with a 5-5 record in their last 10 games, the organization’s struggle between playing for the future and contending is at an all-time high.

But despite their history of inconsequential moves, there’s more smoke than usual surrounding San Antonio. Where there’s smoke, this time, there might actually be a fire. So let’s predict who stays and who goes.

San Antonio’s most valuable asset has been in the rumor mill all season after he and the Spurs could not agree on a contract extension. DeRozan is playing some of the most efficient basketball of his career, including a historic stretch in January.

With that being said, moving DeRozan isn’t happening. If the Spurs had collapsed earlier and found their path to the eighth seed untenable, then sure. But DeRozan’s value to San Antonio is greater than what other teams see his value at. Maybe this summer.

Easy no. As the other superstar on this roster, Aldridge has adapted his game to fit the modern NBA easily. Paying 35-year-old Aldridge a fully guaranteed $24 million next season isn’t great, but you could do a lot worse with that money.

His future may be cloudier than we’re led to believe, but unless something drastic happens, Aldridge will be a Spur until at least the summer of 2021.

Yes, Forbes should not start. Yes, Forbes has struggled this season. Yes, he’s crafted a nice career for himself as an undrafted free agent. No, he’s not going to get traded.

Forbes is too ‘valuable’ to the Spurs to be moved. Plus his small salary makes him more difficult to move. If the Spurs could trade for someone who would minimize Forbes’ role, that would be an upgrade. Otherwise Forbes is in the Kyle Anderson stage of his Spurs career: Will still get minutes, but will probably get overpaid this summer and see his time in San Antonio come to an end.

Once thought to be a solid signing for San Antonio’s bench, the DeMarre Carroll experiment never came to fruition. The 33-year-old forward didn’t even join the Spurs for their Rodeo Road Trip, as he continues to workout and stay in shape in San Antonio.

Carroll is tradable, but teams need incentive to deal for him. And keeping him on the roster with no playing time benefits nobody. He’ll get traded, or at the very least, bought out.

Contenders in need of shooting will easily trade for Belinelli. As an expiring contract only earning $5.8 million, Belinelli is probably San Antonio’s best asset.

The soon to be 34-year-old is averaging some of the worst numbers of his career, but a change in scenery could be beneficial for him. Pairing his contract with Carroll’s could also help the Spurs acquire higher salary players on the market. He’ll get moved if a contender gets desperate enough during the trade deadline’s chaos.

Once a nice signing with no expectations, Rudy Gay came in off his torn Achilles injury and completely embraced San Antonio and the Spurs way.

But at 33 years old, Gay has struggled as a shooter, defender and distributor this season. Gay’s seeing less playing time, but he’s still a valuable player. It’s hard to see a team wanting to trade for a struggling Gay who is set to earn $14.5 million next season. And reports are that San Antonio’s asking price is too high. His market is everyone who missed out on Andre Igoudala, and even then, there’s better options for cheaper. Gay stays.

Cheap and controllable big men with the ability to set screens, protect the rim and score inside are still valuable. Somewhat.

While some teams like the Houston Rockets prefer starting P.J. Tucker as a full-time center, others would love to have a blossoming Poeltl as he approaches restricted free agency. But there’s no way the Spurs dump him off without a massive haul in return.



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