With the February 9th trade deadline getting closer and closer, the clock is ticking for teams to make any final big moves. On the other hand, organizations such as the San Antonio Spurs could be sellers at the deadline. With some veterans on the roster, the Spurs might be willing to trade them for draft assets.
So far in the 2022-23 season, San Antonio is 14-40, one of the worst records in the league. The team is the No. 14 seed in the Western Conference, set to miss the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year.
With hopes of getting a higher draft pick in 2023 and perhaps selecting generational prospect Victor Wembanyama at No. 1 overall, the Spurs might opt to give their veterans better opportunities elsewhere while also capitalizing on their value.
Although most of the roster is comprised of rookies and other youngsters, veterans such as Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott could be useful for some contenders. Both are shooting at least 36% from the three-point line on at least four attempts per game. Still, there is another name that has gained some traction throughout the season. Although this Spur plays a more traditional role, his name has been linked to contenders such as the Boston Celtics and playoff hopefuls such as the Toronto Raptors.
With that being said, here is one last-minute trade the San Antonio Spurs must make before the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline.
1 last-minute trade San Antonio Spurs must make before 2023 deadline
Golden State receives: jakob poeltl
San Antonio receives: James Wiseman and a future first-round pick
Jakob Poeltl has been in trade rumors since the offseason. After the Spurs traded away Derrick White and Dejounte Murray and letting Lonnie Walker IV walk in free agency, it was clear the franchise was going in a new direction. At the age of 27, the center is more of an experienced piece than a youngster.
In 45 games this season, Poeltl is averaging 12.1 points, 9.1 points and 3.1 assists. He is also recording 1.2 blocks and 0.8 steals a night. The Austrian is shooting 62.3% from the field and 59.2% from the free-throw line, the latter of which is his best mark since 2017-18.
Because of his impact as a rim-protector, some contenders could use Poeltl’s services in the postseason. An intriguing option is the Golden State Warriors.
The reigning champions are having ups and downs this season. As of now, they are 28-26 and No. 7 in the Western Conference, currently in the Play-In Tournament zone. To make matter worse, Stephen Curry will miss multiple weeks due to a leg injury.
As a team, the Warriors are only averaging 3.8 blocks per game, placing them in the bottom-five in the league. Also, they have one of the worst-scoring defenses in the NBA this season. Golden State allows 118.2 points a contest, ranking No. 26 in that category.
Poeltl could help in that aspect while not taking away shots from Klay Thompson, Andrew Wiggins or Jordan Poole. The center has playoff experience under his belt and could play a role similar to Kevon Looney in last year’s playoffs. Looney has come off the bench six times since January after starting all season long.
As for the Spurs, they would get a future first-round pick in the process. Even though it will probably be in the late teens, the organization has a successful history with late selections. Tony Parker was the No. 28 pick in 2001 and Manu Ginobili was the second-to-last pick in 1999. Most recently, Murray was No. 29 in 2016.
Additionally, San Antonio would get a young center in James Wiseman. The No. 2 pick in 2020, he has yet to live up to expectations due to multiple injuries. He has played a total of 60 NBA games with averages of 9.9 points and 5.0 rebounds. He failed to play in the 2021-22 season when the Warriors won the NBA title. This season, he has appeared in just 21 games and has even been in the G League.
This move would give Wiseman a fresh start without win-now pressure. In Texas, he could take his time to develop and learn under Gregg Popovich and maybe even receive help from Tim Duncan. Regardless of what happens in the 2023 NBA Draft, San Antonio would have a young big man who could be Poeltl’s long-term replacement.
All things considered, this move would be a win-win for all parties. Golden State gets a proven defensive center who can help in the playoffs. Poeltl gets the chance of playing in the postseason and impressing to earn a bigger paycheck in the offseason. Wiseman gets the opportunity for a new beginning in the NBA.
With so much uncertainty ahead, this trade allows the Spurs to eliminate the risk of losing Poeltl in free agency for nothing. Most importantly, they continue their rebuilding phase by adding some young talent and draft capital.