It might have taken 25 years, but the San Antonio Spurs are going through another rebuild after multiple disappointing seasons following the trade of Kawhi Leonard to the Toronto Raptors back in 2018. With the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes heating up, the Spurs might look to boost their lottery odds even further and ship out veterans jakob poeltl and josh richardson in addition to the trade of Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks.
According to LJ Ellis of Spurstalk, the Spurs are still shopping Jakob Poeltl, Josh Richardson, and Doug McDermott, with their price for the first two remaining high.
“For Richardson, the Spurs are requesting a first round pick. For Poeltl, the Spurs are asking for two first rounders,” Ellis wrote.
The 26-year old Poeltl, acquired in the Leonard trade, has emerged as one of the more underrated rim protectors in the league. Poeltl has swatted 241 shots in the past two seasons, only behind noted defensive anchors Rudy Gobert and Myles Turner. He will bolster any team’s defense for sure, but two first-rounders could be too high a price for an archetype of player that’s getting outmoded, especially one who’ll be an impending free agent by the end of the upcoming season.
Richardson notably disappointed in his two previous stints, unable to fill the 3&D void needed by the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics on a consistent level before being shipped out of town. Teams could be hesitant in forking over a first-rounder for the 6’5 swingman, but he noticeably shot better from deep during his 21-game stint with the Spurs (1.9 threes per game on 4.3 attempts, 44.4%), which could make him an attractive target for teams in desperate need of hard-nosed defending and spacing in one fell swoop.
Meanwhile, Ellis added that Doug McDermott has received “lukewarm trade interest” due to his “negative trade value” because of his contract ($27.5 million for two years). Nevertheless, the Spurs will not be in any hurry, as bidding could intensify when the trade deadline is approaching.
The core of LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan from 2018 to 2021 proved to be nothing but a road to mediocrity, and despite Murray’s ascendance during the 2021-22 season, the Spurs finished with their worst winning percentage since 1997, the year when they drafted Tim Duncan and turned their fortunes around.
Perhaps, with the future trades of Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson, the Spurs could land themselves a game-changer atop the NBA draft yet again in the 7’4 big man touted to be the NBA’s next greatest thing in Victor Wembanyama.