The NBA trade deadline is approaching Thursday at 2 PM CST and a new trade rumor involving the San Antonio Spurs popped up Wednesday evening during the Spurs’ win against the Phoenix Suns.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Spurs have ‘emerged as a trade suitor’ for Avery Bradley of the Los Angeles Clippers according to his sources. Stein also reported that the Clippers are seeking a first round pick in any deal involving Bradley.
Bradley, a 27-year old 6’2 wing was traded from Detroit to the Clippers recently in the blockbuster deal for Blake Griffin. In 42 combined games with the Pistons and Clippers, Bradley is averaging 14.8 points, 2.4 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals in 31.6 minutes per game. He’s made 41% of his shots from the floor and 37% of his 3-point attempts.
This season, Bradley is on the books for $8.8 million and he’ll become an unrestricted free agent on July 1. If the Spurs did acquire him in a trade, they’d inherit his bird rights, as long as they keep his $13.2 million cap hold on their books in the summer. There is a trade restriction on the Clippers where Bradley can only be traded by himself in a deal, meaning the Clippers can’t send multiple players out in a deal with Bradley.
So, without involving a third team, the Spurs would need to trade one of Danny Green ($10 million), Patty Mills ($10.7 million), or Rudy Gay ($8.4 million) along with their 2018 first round pick to the Clippers in exchange for Bradley. Green has a player option this summer he can exercise for $10 million, or else he can become an unrestricted free agent. Gay too has a player option for $8.8 million this summer and Mills is still guaranteed over $30 million until the 2020-21 season.
The Spurs’ first round draft pick is projected to fall in the 25-30 range right now. Something else to keep in mind from the Clippers’ perspective is staying out of the luxury tax. The Clippers with Bradley are about $629,000 away from being a tax team. A deal for Gay would keep them below the tax, while a deal for either Green or Mills would push them above the tax.
As the trade deadline draws closer by the hour, the Spurs may be linked to other players around the league. Only time will tell if San Antonio makes a deal for Bradley or not.