It’s no secret the San Antonio Spurs are looking to the future. They’re already running their youngest roster ever under Coach Gregg Popovich. On Thursday morning, just less than three hours before the NBA’s 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. CT trade deadline, general manager Brian Wright doubled down.
Spurs Trade Young and Eubanks to Toronto, Add First-Round Pick
The Spurs’ second trade in as many days the team is sending Thaddeus Young, Drew Eubanks, and a 2022 second-round pick to the Toronto Raptors. In return, they’re receiving Goran Dragic and a 2022 first-round pick. First reported by NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski, the pick coming from the Raptors is protected 1-14 in 2022 and 1-13 in 2023, after which it would become a pair of second-round picks. Per RealGM, the Spurs had an extra second-round pick in the upcoming draft to move after acquiring two in the DeMar DeRozan sign and trade, one of which was traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers. The Spurs had already traded their own second-round pick to the Utah Jazz in 2016, sending Boris Diaw to Utah.
The Raptors are trading Dragic and protected 2022 first-round picks to the Spurs for Thad Young, Drew Eubanks and a 2022 second-round pick via Pistons, sources tell ESPN. Pick is protected 1-14 in 2022; 1-13 in 2023 and would turn into two seconds beyond that. https://t.co/SN0sFyVurm
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) February 10, 2022
For Wright and San Antonio, the trade on Thursday was about acquiring premium draft capital. The Raptors are currently sitting in sixth place in the Eastern Conference with a 30-23 record. It isn’t likely they’ll fall within the league’s bottom 14 teams. The Spurs, on the other hand, are 13th in the Western Conference at 20-35. They just started the dreaded eight-game “Rodeo Road Trip” that hasn’t been kind to the franchise with yet another loss.
Who Got Moved
As for the players being moved, Dragic hasn’t played since the fall, leaving the Raptors for personal reasons. Expected to be bought out of his contract by the Spurs, he’s averaged 13 points, three rebounds, and four assists since entering the league in 2008. He played just five games with Toronto this season.
The Raptors are acquiring players who are ready to contribute immediately by picking up Eubanks and Young. A former undrafted free agent and two-way contract of the Spurs, Eubanks earned a bigger role and a full contract last season to serve as Jakob Poeltl’s backup at center. With 49 games played, he is on pace for a new career-high for games played in the NBA for a season. This year he’s averaged nearly five points to go with four rebounds per game in 12 minutes per night. The return of Zach Collins from injury this month had eaten into Eubanks’ opportunities considerably, as has Jock Landale’s presence.
Young is the key pick-up for Toronto, adding the highly-sought after 2007 first-round selection. A by-product of the DeRozan trade, Young knew he wasn’t a part of the Spurs’ plans, as reflected by his minutes this season being reduced to nearly half of his career average. He’s steadily averaged double-digits in scoring throughout his career, while being a consistent presence in the paint.
More Moves Coming
The Spurs are rumored to be pursuing more trades yet, and the front court may take another hit. Michael Scotto of USA reported that the Charlotte Hornets and Spurs have discussed a move that would send Poeltl to the Hornets in exchange for PJ Washington, Kai Jones and a first-round pick. The move would be Santonio’s fourth trade during this season.
Sources: The Charlotte Hornets and San Antonio Spurs have discussed a trade of PJ Washington, Kai Jones and a potential first-round draft pick for Jakob Poeltl. More details on @hoopshype. https://t.co/qBqZgRLFjQ
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) February 10, 2022