Welcome back to the day off this Tuesday. Let’s jump right into the topics that will be covered in this edition:
- Latest Trade Rumors
- Tre Jones Named to All-NBA G League Third Team
- Wide Open 3-Point Shooting
- Injury Updates
Latest Trade Rumors
Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report reports the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics have interest in signing Aldridge if he’s bought out from his contract after Thursday’s trade deadline.
Marc Stein of the New York Times wrote in his weekly newsletter the Spurs don’t want to take back any long-term salary in a trade package for Aldridge, which shows the Spurs want to go into free agency this offseason which as much cap space as they can open. The Spurs are projected to have around $48.7 million in cap space this offseason.
According to Fischer’s league sources, the Spurs have also made DeRozan available by trade. This is interesting considering last week there was a report that said if the Spurs and DeRozan couldn’t come to a contract extension this week, San Antonio might look to move DeRozan by the trade deadline.
Fischer says according to his sources, DeRozan might want to sign with a team from the Eastern Conference this offseason, when he’s an unrestricted free agent. Fischer names the Knicks, Bulls, and Magic as teams who have discussed trading for DeRozan.
A trade package floated between the Magic and Spurs would be DeRozan for Evan Fournier and a first round pick, though this would have to include a few more players from Orlando to make the salaries work. For example, a DeRozan for Fournier, James Ennis, and Khem Birch trade would work, but it would still put the Spurs in a tough spot where they’d need a third team to take one of their current or one of the incoming players, or San Antonio would have to waive a player, as well as Aldridge.
If the Spurs created a trade with the Bulls, San Antonio would “theoretically” be bringing back Otto Porter Jr. in that type of deal according to Fischer. A Porter Jr. for DeRozan trade would work without San Antonio having to make any additional roster moves.
Trey Lyles and Rudy Gay
Finally, Fischer’s report states Lyles and his representatives are looking to see if Lyles can get moved elsewhere, which makes sense since he isn’t part of the rotation, only in the event multiple players are out for a game.
Before the season and prior to the All-Star break, there was reporting that the Spurs would continue to take calls up to the trade deadline on all their veteran players who will be unrestricted free agents. The Heat reportedly had interest in Rudy Gay recently.
Tre Jones Named to All-NBA G League Third Team
The G League announced Tuesday Spurs rookie Tre Jones was named to the All-NBA G League Third Team after his play in the G League bubble in February.
Jones averaged 18.1 points, 9.7 assists, and 5.3 rebounds in 31.3 minutes in seven games. Jones and Luka Samanic were recalled back to the San Antonio team after the Spurs were faced with multiple players being out due to health and safety protocols.
In his few games with the San Antonio Spurs this season, Jones has been attacking the paint. 55% of his shot attempts have come in the restricted area and he’s made 11 of his 16 restricted area attempts.
Wide Open 3-Point Shooting
In the Spurs’ Monday loss to the Charlotte Hornets, you could see the Hornets packing the paint and trying to limit drive attempts by the Spurs. With a defense taking away the paint, you can see by some of their players shooting percentages from wide open three why defenses are able to do that at times.
The players the Spurs mainly rely on from three are Patty Mills, Derrick White, Devin Vassell, Lonnie Walker IV, and Rudy Gay. For these players, 3-pointers make up 40% or more of each of their shot attempts.
Five rotation players not listed in that group are Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and Drew Eubanks.
While we know Poeltl and Eubanks (1 attempt) don’t take threes, Murray, DeRozan, and Johnson will mainly launch from outside if they have to late on the shot clock in a possession. The defense tends to back off these players when they’re off the ball and standing behind the arc.
When looking at wide open three point accuracy, just Mills and Gay are shooting 40% or better. Walker IV is close at 39.8% and though Vassell is at 36% on wide open threes, defenses don’t let him have many attempts that are wide open.
This shows why some defenses like the Hornets and recently the Bucks are able to almost build a perimeter around the paint to limit the Spurs’ drives, which are one of the key ways Johnson, DeRozan, and Murray attack the defense.
The Spurs announced Lonnie Walker IV will miss Wednesday’s game against the Clippers with right wrist soreness. Walker IV recently sat out of the Spurs’ game against the Cavaliers after he said his wrist was bothering him after shootaround that day.
Rudy Gay is listed as questionable with left foot soreness and Keita Bates-Diop is out again due to the right hamstring strain he suffered during the Spurs’ game on March 14 against the 76ers.