Corporate Knowledge: Some of the best deals are those never done
The trade deadline has past and the Spurs roster is set, unless an advantageous opportunity presents itself via late season buyout. It appears there were no deals that moved the needle in terms of the Spurs title hopes, and so no trades were made.
It would appear this is the roster going forward for at least the next two years. A lot of money comes off the books between Stephen Jackson and Manu Ginobili after the season, however most of that money will be spread out between Ginobili, Splitter, and perhaps one other rotation piece.
There was, of course, the big decision that never happened—The Spurs pursued free agent Jason Kidd coming off Tony Parker’s first championship. A move that would’ve likely ended in the loss of Parker or Ginobili.
A while back Trevor Zickgraf, of Project Spurs, played with a few trade possibilities from an alternate universe where the Spurs signed Kidd.
After acquiring Richard Jefferson, and Parker struggling through a bout of plantar fasciitis, there was some thought that the Spurs might try to acquire Amare Stoudemire, presumably for a package around Manu Ginobili.
The irony is that Stoudemire might be one of the few stars more injury prone than Ginobili, having struggled to maintain his health in New York under the extra weight of an added apostrophe to his name.
Coming off a first round loss to the eighth-seeded Memphis Grizzlies, with a quality young backup point guard in George Hill, the San Antonio Spurs were reported to have been pursuing deals involving Tony Parker for a top ten draft pick.
Tim Duncan for Greg Oden anyone? Anyone? No? This sentence was actually published in Sports Illustrated by Frank Hughes:
One source close to the team said general manager Kevin Pritchard was swayed toward Oden not only because of the Blazers’ needs but also because nearly every GM inquired about making a deal for the right to choose Oden, including San Antonio, which was said to be open to offering Tim Duncan. If rivals were considering trading cornerstone players for Oden, it’s hard to blame Pritchard for making that choice.
According to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski:
The San Antonio Spurs are engaged in discussions about trading point guard Tony Parker to secure a high pick in Thursday’s draft, league sources told Yahoo! Sports.
The Spurs have talked to teams in the lottery, including the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings, who hold the fifth and seventh picks, respectively. The Kings are determined to get a frontline point guard, and have also talked with the Denver Nuggets about Raymond Felton.
It’s unclear who the Spurs would prefer to take if they acquired a high lottery pick.
If the Spurs were to trade Parker, George Hill could become their starting point guard. League sources said Hill also has drawn trade interest from teams willing to give the Spurs a pick near the back end of the lottery.
It turns out the Spurs were attaching Richard Jefferson to any potential Parker deal. That of course was a non-starter for most teams and the small tidbit at the end of the report regarding Hill proved true, with the Spurs sending Hill to Indiana for Kawhi Leonard.
My thoughts on swapping Hill instead of Parker at the time:
But just as Popovich once said “these playoffs aren’t for George Hill,” this NBA Draft was not for Tony Parker. The value past the top five was too diminished to consider trading their star point guard, considering that the no. 1 overall pick, Kyrie Irving, might be a better all around player than Parker himself, but in no way is a safe projection to excel as Parker has.
There are more thoughts on the Hill-Leonard swap in the post, but I think most fans can agree keeping Parker was the better move.
Parker was once rumored to be going to the Knicks, which gained steam if only because every All-Star that has ever stepped foot in New York has been rumored to want to play for the Knicks despite, until recently, so few actually going to play for the Knicks.