The San Antonio Spurs in the Trade Machine

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It’s silly to think about potential Spurs trade scenarios, but, hey, it sounded like a fun exercise. It always sounds like a fun exercise. This is the problem of being raised on Bill Simmons.

So here we go: needs, assets, trade partners and best case scenarios.  Don’t hate me. I know 38-7 record is not indicative of a personnel crisis.  The Spurs are good. I get it. But it’s almost February and an NBA blogger has very little choice.

The Spurs’ two most deficient areas are interior defense and lack of a lockdown perimeter defender.  Last Friday night, Tim Duncan played like he was 25 again, dropping 21 points, 16 boards, eight assists and five blocks on the Knicks. And he was a largely responsible for limiting Amare Stoudemire to 8-25 shooting. But he’s not like that every night. Antonio McDyess has actually been San Antonio’s best interior defender this season. DeJuan Blair is energetic with quick hands, but he’s still a 6’7” center. Matt Bonner is Matt Bonner. And Matt Bonner is Matt Bonner with a bruised knee. Tiago Splitter’s recent push is still an exotic fruit.

The Spurs typically play George Hill on the opposing team’s best perimeter player, and when that player happens to be Carmelo Anthony or Kevin Durant, the mismatch is obvious. The Spurs don’t really have the option of going to the bench for a defensive wing. But if the Spurs were able to secure such a player, Gregg Popovich could find minutes for him.

The Spurs are short on assets. San Antonio’s current rotation is playing so well that it’s difficult to imagine the Spurs parting with any of its members, even Matt Bonner or Gary Neal. In other words, San Antonio’s assets are Chris Quin ($804,000), draft picks and, perhaps, Tiago Splitter and James Anderson. Splitter and Anderson are young and talented. It’s difficult to imagine San Antonio parting with either, but let’s return to the possibility in a moment, if only for the sake of argument. Essentially, the question is what could the Spurs get back for, say, Tiago Splitter and a draft pick? Or some such configuration of player(s) and pick(s).

The most likely scenario, at least it seems to me, is combining Chris Quinn with a draft pick.  This option preserves San Antonio’s rotation and doesn’t sacrifice young players in the Spurs’ pursuit of a 5th championship. There is also this, and it’s not a small thing. With the possibility of a player lockout looming over the league, it’s likely that the upcoming draft class will suffer from an inordinately high number of prospect withdrawals.  If there was ever a year for the Spurs to part with a draft pick, this is it. Couple the lockout situation with their current record, and it’s not hard to imagine San Antonio packing their late round pick with a player.

The problem, of course, is that San Antonio can only deal Quinn for a player whose salary is within 20% of Quinn’s. This dramatically reduces the list of plausible returns to, in my estimation, four players: Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Bill Walker, Donte Greene and Tracy McGrady.  Let’s take them one by one.

Mbah a Moute is not Bruce Bowen, but he might be the closet thing to Bowen available to the Spurs. It’s also doubtful that Chris Quinn and a late first round would appeal to Milwaukee. Mbah a Moute is averaging nearly 25 minutes a game and can legitimately guard four positions. Still, it’s worth a phone call. In truth, Mbah a Moute is playing more than he should because of a Carlos Delfino injury. And while Milwaukee is competitive, they’re nowhere near championship contention. Rolling the dice on a draft pick might serve Milwaukee’s future interests better than naively building around an end of the rotation player. In a private e-mail, our Scott Sereday put it like this:

[Mbah a Moute] seems to be moderately above average, but has regressed offensively. The average late first rounder would be a below average player, so we would expect Luc to be better than the average draft pick.

For a rebuilding team, the uncertainty of the value of a draft pick might lend to more expected championships, but for the Spurs the opposite effect is true… their window is now and even modest improvements could have a noticeable impact of the number of championships we expect from them.

I don’t think this is worthwhile for the Bucks unless they are giving up on being competitive, but I would say it is definitely worthwhile for the Spurs. He also seems to be a good fit for the Spurs as long as he doesn’t eat up Ginobili’s minutes too much like Bowen did at times.

Remember Manu Ginobili’s remarkable buzzer-beating step-back jumper that propelled San Antonio past Milwaukee earlier this season? Go back and watch it again. Amazing shot, right? But, whoa, check out the defense from Mbah a Moute. Ginobili pulled a move that would shake 95% of the league’s defenders but Mbah a Moute is right there. He’s a tremendous defender.

Bill Walker. This will take less time. Walker is an interesting reserve guard. He has range (.419 3P%) and some ability to finish at the rim. He’s far more promising than Chris Quinn and NY is desirous of acquiring first round draft picks. But is it worth giving up a draft pick for a player who duplicates James Anderson?

Donte Greene is only averaging 17 minutes per game and can’t find a spot in Paul Westphal’s rotation. At 6’11” he has unique size for a position — this would give the Spurs’ offense a wrinkle they’ve never really had before. Greene could develop into a solid defender, and he’s only 22. But Greene is a lousy shooter (hello, Chip Engelland) and would not help the Spurs at all this season. So why put him on this list? In short, he’s probably better than anything the Spurs will find with their 2011 draft pick, and at 22 he’s basically the same age as anyone they might draft.  What’s Sacramento’s interest? Here’s how John Hollinger described Greene in his preseason scouting report:

Greene remains a dreadful ballhandler and tries to do too much with the ball. In one game against Houston he suffered three straight turnovers on dribble drives; for the season he ranked 63rd out of 67 small forwards in pure point rating.

He has a nice 3-point stroke, making 37.7 percent, and at 6-foot-11 his best hope is probably to recast himself as a floor-spacing 4. But to do that, he needs to get a board once in a while. Despite being the league’s tallest small forward, he slipped below the league average for his position in rebound rate.

In short, with Omri Casspi on board, Sacramento might cut their losses with Greene and try their hand at getting lucky in the draft.

Greene is due $1.6 million next season.

When I began writing this post, Tracy McGrady was the least appealing player to make my short list. But after some thought, he’s probably San Antonio’s best trade option. I suspect Tracy McGrady will seek a trade or buyout in the coming weeks. Why? Well, to start, Detroit stinks. McGrady was only signed to a one year contract and stands little chance of resigning with the team. Basically, no one else would take him last offseason and the Pistons provided McGrady an opportunity to prove he can still play. He’s done that.

Detroit is going to lose him this summer, so they might as well seek some sort of asset for him prior to his inescapable departure. And besides, he’s been one of their best players in recent weeks. Do you really want Tracy McGrady reducing your odds in the draft lottery?

McGrady is averaging 21 minutes per game, can play at 1, 2, or 3 and is a decent 3-point shooter. From the Spurs’ perspective, he’d fit their system a little like Brent Barry, minus the dead-eye shooting. That is, he’s provides San Antonio with another ballhandler and distributor — McGrady has always been one of the best passing wings in the NBA. Occasionally he can get hot and go for 20, which would force opposing teams to account for yet another San Antonio scoring option.

McGrady’s splits indicate that he performs best after two and three days rest. In another words, a playoff schedule would suit his body well.

As things stand, San Antonio’s depth chart features rookies James Anderson and Larry Owens behind Richard Jefferson. Neither player is likely to help San Antonio in the playoffs. The Spurs may need only 10 minutes from such a player, which, given the opportunity to win a championship, could suit McGrady just fine.

So here’s the question: should the Spurs simply wait to see if McGrady requests a buyout? I’d rather San Antonio just offer up Chris Quinn and a second round draft pick. If McGrady is bought out, San Antonio will have to contend with Miami, Dallas, Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, and Orlando for his services.

Returning to the option of trading Tiago Splitter and/or James Anderson, I don’t see much motivation for the Spurs to give up their young talent. Perhaps it’s a failure of my imagination, but I don’t see many trade scenarios which help the Spurs. Players in whom the Spurs would have an interest — Nico Batum, for example — are not said to be available. Some other players — Omri Casspi — could be available, but the exchange of parts doesn’t make good financial or basketball sense.  Denver is the wildcard. If Denver/NY/whomever needs a third team to facilitate some sort of Carmelo Anthony trade,  Denver might be interested in taking Splitter and a first round pick from the Spurs while the Spurs receive player(s) from another partner. But of course San Antonio would have to bring back some kind of impressive haul to even get in on the conversation.

And if you’re thinking Wilson Chandler, remember he is a restricted free agent after the season. Maybe something like that would work, but the Spurs are not exactly rolling in cap space.

And so on.

Perhaps the Spurs’ best option is the one we haven’t really discussed: waiting.

Who knows which players will receive buyouts just after the trade deadline? (Troy Murphy? McGrady?) The Spurs can find a player for the end of their bench from that list of castaways, and it won’t cost them anything.

  • rob

    This is one trade idea I looked into but did not post here.

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=4syky73

    It is reported that Charolete is looking to dump salaries in either one or both Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson. This trade gives Memphis a premier post player for losing Gasol in Thomas and a bonefide wing player in Jackson. Nets get a premier SF in Wallace and a project/backup to Lopez in Tiago. Charolte gets the expirings of Murphy and Randolph with the possibility, depending on the new cba, to sign those players. San Antonio gets Marc Gasol who would be that premier post player to help the Spurs get to the top.

  • Rafael

    Much crazy people here, talking about Mcgee, wizards never will be trade him for less than top players, he is so valous for wizard, stop that crazy thing, Spurs are good, what need is health and lucky to do not have a injury in TP,TD,Manu…Stop judging Splitter, he never play, if he plays 10 consecutive games with 20+ minutes maybe we can say about it… He is not like RJ in second season in Spurs and playing 30 minutes and very bad last 15 games…

  • duaneofly

    I really like Marc Gasol, but I can’t see the Grizzles trading him, and they sure wouldn’t trade Gasol and Zach Randolph in a trade that only brings back Tyrus Thomas for the front line.

  • rob

    “Stop judging Splitter, he never play, if he plays 10 consecutive games with 20+ minutes maybe we can say about it”

    If Tiago was GOOD enough to get more minutes he would already be getting them. Stop “crazy talk” he’s getting a raw deal.

  • rob

    @duaneofly

    Yeah…I could see that as maybe not something Memphis would do. But Gasol has been mentioned that he could be ripe for a – “and may be a good buy-low candidate if you are looking to trade for a center.” – in he espn bio. Zach Randolph?…depending on what they want to do regarding his pending free agency. Perhaps not looking to pay as much as he gets now or want to spread those fianancial resources to helping land two players to make up for his salary? Thomas would make up for Randolph while having to commit to only half the salary they pay now for Randolph. Hence the other half of that salary to perhaps other prospective replacements?

    As in any trade scenario there is good and questionable on both sides. It’s probably why the Spurs don’t participate in these situations during mid season. Sticking with who they have as the norm. But Pop has mentioned before in the past…IF the right situation would present itself…the Spurs would naturally listen.

  • andy

    ludicrous.

    while i’d like mbah a moute or randolph or hill or mcgrady (wow, didn’t see the vitriol coming there), the chances of us doing something like that are probably close to nil. we’re near the cap, all our pieces have contributed to this historic start, save a few (and those few are key foundation pieces for future teams). salaries are also pretty tight, considering we have tony, manu, and rj locked up for a few years. i just don’t see it happening.

    also gotta say, there’s a lot of misinformation being thrown around here.

  • rob

    may I add…this trade so much solidifies the Grizzlies to a losing record being Tyrus is injured. But a first round pick to be gained because of record. Add another first round pick in this trade from one of the teams…Memphis has two first round picks to build upon. New Jersey was willing to give up maybe 2 first rounders or one 1st and a high second to get Melo…isn’t Wallace and Tiago worth at least one first round pick?

  • duaneofly

    Randolph has found a new life for his career in Memphis and has been a constant 20-10 guy since his arrival.
    Gasol is young, and good, and is also their “prize” for trading away Pau.
    Those guys, plus Rudy Gay, are the reasons anyone even goes to a Grizz game, so I can’t see them trading them away easily, and especially not either one for even a healthy Tyrus Thomas, who seems to be only a couple rungs up the ladder from Ian Mahinmi.

  • TD = Best EVER

    As a quick side note for all those who keep mentioning all the foreign players that the Spurs have drafted.

    Here are a few that we missed out on in recent years…..

    2005 After Ian Mahinmi
    David Lee – Just light us up
    Brandon Bass – Under sized but talented
    Marcin Gortat – True Bigman

    2006 – we gave up the 29th pick (so after 29)
    Daniel Gibson – (Spurs were looking for a good back up PG)
    Paul Milsap – Better version of Brandon Bass

    2007 After Splitter 28th –
    Carl Landry -not foreign and undersized, but has played 3 good years in the league and would be great off the bench

    2008 – We picked up IndyG and really couldn’t do much better after that (other than getting more from Dragic)

    2009 & 2010 – The Spurs probably did as well as they could

    But this shows you that our FO is good but they are not gods…. They should look to get proven talent that you can use now and stop the crazy draft and stash thing….. Also 2-3 year players are still very cheap.

  • rob

    @TD=BE

    Very true regarding missing out on prospects who turned out decent to good. We as fans have been spoiled though by draft choices like Parker and Ginobili thinking the Spurs will do this all the time. Fact is…since Ginobili…the Spurs have been about average regarding draft picks and zilch in getting a quality big man.

  • TD = Best EVER

    Also in 2007

    Marc Gasol – was the 40th pick or something – and he has played 3 years in the NBA……. Very big body and would have been great next to TD – we might have won number 5 by now with him

  • Manolo Pedralvez

    A firestorm over shouda, couda, wouda trades as the Spurs enter the backstretch of the season, but most likely there won’t be any. As for Splitter, with Bonner sidelined indefinitely, he gets more playing time and the learning curve is slowly flattening out. San Antonio may have the big it wanted all along when he got drafted years ago, so dumping him is not an option.

  • DorieStreet

    @ TD=BEST EVER

    Your last two posts have summed up accurately and objectively what the FO/scouting has done for most of the last decade with regards to finding young talent for the team. Yes, due to the success on the court the Spurs’ draft picks have been/will be at the bottom of the 2 rounds. Yes, the salary cap & luxury tax restrictions further hinder this franchise in obtaining quality players. But it just seemed to me the Spurs leaned on that the foreign player method too often with diminshing results each year. It actually first started with Luis Scola back in 2002. The team waited 5 seasons before getting him here, then proceeded to trade him in October 2007 (the year of the big Celtics trade and just before the season the Lakers pulled off their deal). We are all happy with the accomplishments of the franchise, but with regards to this present situation, be honest about how it unfolded.

  • Ruel

    @SG, ITGuy, and Junierizzle

    I’m with you guys win or lose. Too highly risky and too much to give than we can get or receive. It’s already half way of the season. We should stick with our team/guys and trust them rather than doubting and questioning their abilities? With this group, anything is possible…Win or Lose Go San Antonio Spurs Go!!!

  • AS

    “2007 After Splitter 28th –
    Carl Landry -not foreign and undersized, but has played 3 good years in the league and would be great off the bench”

    Wow.
    Carl Landry, who cant find a spot in the frontcourt of a 10-33 team (and Jason Thompson playing in front of him) is better than Splitter. This is like saying that the Spurs FO is incompetent.
    Wow again

    The only miss in that list could be David Lee (a guy that think that the Spurs are boring).

    Brandon Bass? Could be one more on the long list of undersized bigs that didn’t success, high chances of miss.
    Gortat, Gibson, mediocre, at best.

    So, if the idea was compare the “Hits” and “Miss” of the Spurs FO (without posting the “Hits”, wich is unfair) I cant see the point.

    Or, maybe, I can. The “Hits” win for a mile.

  • Daniel T

    It’s one thing to look over the history of the NBA draft and to be able to say that a few players drafted late in the draft would have been better picks. But what in Marc Gasol’s record to that point would have indicated that he should have been a higher pick than Tiago?

    Even in retrospect, the main thing Marc has going for him is that he’s been the starter and played significant minutes for the Memphis Grizzlies. Would he have played nearly as many minutes if he had been picked instead by the Spurs? If he had not been traded by the Lakers to Memphis for his brother, were there many other teams where he would have had the opportunity to be an instant starter? If he had stayed in Europe for 2 more years and then come to the Spurs, would he be doing much differently than Tiago?

  • Bankshot21

    Thank you Daniel T in showing the flawed mentality. No mention of Dragic, Barbosa, Udrih….all competent players in this league. Pick ups like Neal also show that our FO is far better than just “good”. Our team has remained relevant through great scouting. There is not 1 other team that has stayed relevant without the addition of another All-Star player. Not 1. So they may not be gods, but they’re definitely geniuses.

  • duaneofly

    Let us also not forget that the Spurs have not missed the playoffs since Duncan arrived. The lack of even a top 10 draft pick (Bynum was #10 in 05) hurts. The Celtics got Ray Allen by including the #5 pick in a trade with Seattle, and bringing Ray over led to KG being willing to sign an extension and be traded to the Celtics.
    If you’re going to talk about who we passed up for Ian, how could you forget Monta Ellis? He was the #40 pick in that draft. What a steal!

    Imagine if we could have picked up Bynum (#10 pick) or Al Jefferson (#15 pick) or Kevin Love (#5).
    Or what if in 07-08 season we could have traded Horry, Elson, Finley, draft picks and whomever else needed to match salaries for Pau Gasol?

    The Lakers and Celtics are damn good teams, but both needed some low lows and gimme trades to become the powerhouses they are today.

    If a couple of bad years for the Spurs means losing in the first round to the Mavs, then next year losing in the second round to the Suns, then I’d say the Spurs are a pretty great organization I’m proud to cheer for.

    One last thing, Espn analysts and t.v. commentators, and Laker fans, have been predicting the demise of the Spurs since what? 2004 or 05? Yet the Spurs won in 05, then again in 07, and are the #1 team in the league in 10-11.

  • Jason

    This is great short list here, its very similar to this list I generated in a post before the season began when we all thought the spurs had one move left in them. I didn’t have Bill Walker on my list but then I didn’t know who he was.

    There are a number of players that are mentioned in buy-out rumors that the Spurs should have interest in, and given that we wouldn’t have to give up anything for most of the guys – acquiring a buy-out may be the most likely scenario.

    Also, don’t underestimate the effect that our record will have on our roster. Being the top seed in the NBA and doing it with style through the first half of the season WILL attract ring hunting vets. Remember, few imagined that a bought-out Michael Finley would go to a former division rival, Brent Barry supposedly begged pop for a trade to the Spurs during a Seattle game, so these things happen.

    Players who might be bought-out include: Troy Murphy, Rip Hamilton (both are kinda unlikely, but then Rip hasn’t played in a few weeks), Jarred Jeffries, Grant Hill, and many others we’ll start hearing about soon.

    I think we should take anybody we can get without giving up a player in return.

  • Esrl

    I don’t understand posters sometimes, we give Udrih 4 years as a back up PG and he sukcs the whole time, then he gets released and puts up good numbers on a bad team and people whine that we should have kept him. Mahinimi is the same way, he sucks for 4 years for us and then he shows glimpses in Dallas and all of a sudden we screwed up. You can’t get every pick right and sometimes when you pass on players, its bc they are not a good fit. But at the time, I thought that picking mahinimi and trading scola were bad ideas. But then again I thought the same thing about picking parker and especially hill were bad ideas too, shows what I know, which is not much

  • Rowrbazzle
  • ThatBigGuy

    Hey, let me jump on the cherry picking draftee bandwagon!

    2005:
    The Clippers selected some guy named Yaroslav Korolev at 12. What a dumb move! Those silly Bobcats drafted Sean May at 14. What were they thinking?

    2006:
    The Bobcats really whiffed again by selecting Adam Morrison #3. The Pacers screwed the pooch on Shawne Williams @ pick 17. Let’s not forget who the Mavs picked at #28: Maurice Ager!

    2007:
    Javaris Crittenton, 19th pick of the Lakers, sure isn’t doing anything other than not playing. How about Jason Smith (who?), illustrious selection of the Heat at #20. You also have to wonder if Oden (#1 overall, but you knew that) should be classified as a bust. Ok, we’ll wait until next season.

    2008:
    These knuckleheads passed on Hill – Bucks (Joe Alexander #8), Warriors (Anthony Randoph #14), Jazz (Kosta Koufos #23). Simply stunning!

    But seriously, everyone has hits and misses. We’ve just had more hits (Manu, Parker, Scola, Hill, Blair) than misses (Mahinmi), therefore making us pretty good at drafting.

    On to the trade ideas. No trade will make us any better than we are right now, for 3 reasons. 1: The guys we can afford (via trade or waiver wire) are all lower tier guys (think Gooden in 2009) who have very little chance talentwise to break our already large rotation. 2: A guy who can be a difference maker is going to cost way too much to trade for (meaning a 3-1 type of deal) which would kill our greatest strength – our depth. 3: No guy brought in will understand the system in half a season and will be on the bench during crunch time, which would screw up the whole idea of trading for the guy in the first place.

  • Paul in Htown

    I was with you until you said ” a playoff schedule would suit his body well.”
    that may be the first time anyone has said that about Tracy. The dude obviously choked when he was the man in Houston, so it really comes off weird when you state that and don’t also note how horrible he has been in past playoffs.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ AS

    “Wow.
    Carl Landry, who cant find a spot in the frontcourt of a 10-33 team (and Jason Thompson playing in front of him) is better than Splitter. This is like saying that the Spurs FO is incompetent.
    Wow again”

    Yes Landry would have been in our rotation 3 years ago and surely would be playing now……

    To all the people people saying that every one has hit and misses…. Yes you are right. My point is the same – That draft picks are not all that important, if you can pick up a player that you KNOW can help you by trading them….

    Also few seem to realize that we didn’t send Splitter/Scola across the pond because we couldn’t afford them. We did because they were not ready. I repeat they WERE NOT READY for the NBA. So why waste draft picks on Star potential when you already have stars and are in desperate need of role players…… Not players who after we have waited on for 3 years may still need 1 or 2 to become ready……

  • TD = Best EVER

    And 1 more point – for all those saying that NO ONE can grasp our system in half a season. STOP drinking the Kool-aid. SA SPURS didn’t invent basketball. If a player has a proven talent that fits in our system, then they will fit on our system. Finley, Neal, Kurt Thomas, and many others have came in mid-season and performed just fine. All it takes is talent. PROVEN TALENT………Not potential

  • irongiantkc

    That Big Guy
    +10

  • duaneofly

    TD = Best EVER, I am totally in agreement with you about finding basketball players that know how to play and not guys who are just potential.
    You saying that makes me wonder why you are interested in Anthony Randolph, because that guy is all potential and no talent.
    He’s warming the bench for the Knicks and before that he was warming the bench for the Warriors. Meanwhile, George Hill, who was taken in the same draft is logging big minutes on the #1 team in the league.

    That right there is a good example of the difference between a guy who knows how to play basketball and a guy who just happens to be really athletic.

    Being super athletic will make you a star in high school, and it’ll get you through college, but come the pros, you need to know how to play.

  • Bankshot21

    @Esrl

    There must have been a misunderstanding in my post. No1 has complained about Udrih. I’m the only poster that mentioned his name and I mentioned it as proof that our FO is way better than just good. But to keep the convo flowing lets further go into your statement. Udrih didn’t suck for us. His role was limited because we had a frenchman we were still developing. Mahinmi didn’t exactly suck either. Given limited play he wasn’t exactly what our team wanted and better suits the needs of another team. We couldn’t exactly utilize players like Drew Gooden because we have my favorite player TD doing his damage on the league.

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ TDBE

    “Also few seem to realize that we didn’t send Splitter/Scola across the pond because we couldn’t afford them. We did because they were not ready.”

    You are way off on this. We didn’t leave them there to get better, we left them there because of financial reasons. Manu and Mahinmi were left in Europe to get better. Scola and Splitter were drafted with the intent of contributing right away, but because of a massive buyout (Scola) and the rookie salary scale (Splitter), both were “left” in Europe.

    “So why waste draft picks on Star potential when you already have stars and are in desperate need of role players…… Not players who after we have waited on for 3 years may still need 1 or 2 to become ready……”

    So why do you continually clamor for obtaining Anthony Randoph? He’s been waited on for 3 years and still needs another 1 or 2 years to be something.

  • Bankshot21

    @Duaneofly

    +10

  • Bankshot21

    @ThatBigGuy

    +25

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ duaneofly & ThatBigGuy

    Both of you obviously have never seen Randolph play……. He has more TALENT than 95% of the league….. his only issue is in his head…… JHe has more TALENT than any of our bigs, including Timmy. He has the talent to be one of the best bigs this game has EVER seen. And he is ONLY 21 – the same age as Blair and is NBA ready NOW…… That’s why I keep putting his name out there. He has Dice range on his jumper, can block shots like TD and can run the floor Like Mahinmi, and can handle well enough to play the 3. So i say again go and watch his highlights and find me a player that SA has a chance of getting and can REBUILD around that’s better. YOU CAN’T.

  • TD = Best EVER

    And no he doesn’t need another 2-3 years to be ready. He is ready now – he just needs to be on the right team and in the right situation to Succeed.

  • syd

    To the extent that trade talk is even worhtwhile and any of the post’s scenarios are appealing, the only ones that seem useful are Mbah a Moute and McGrady.

    Mbah a Moute- I seriously doubt Milwaukee would have much interest, but I’d consider it a real steal and an upgrade to snag him for Quinn and a pick. He’s a great defender. And we have enough other weapons to compensate for his offensive deficiencies.

    McGrady- I don’t know that he’d add much. Kind of reminds me of the late-season Glenn Robinson pickup several years ago. But it probably couldn’t hurt to have him. And he offers more playoff upside than Quinn. Probably worth pursuing.

    Neither Walker nor Greene strike me as worth even the minimal assets we’d be giving up. I’d put them in the “why mess with a good thing?” category.

  • Bankshot21

    @TD=B.E.

    If you only watch highlights of course the player looks phenomenal. The thing with him is his lowlights outweigh his highlights. He is a prime example of a player who should have played 3 or 4 years of college ball. I’m all for upside but saying this kid is currently superior than a 34 year old TD is a bit alarming.

  • Bankshot21

    http://www.thetruthsports.com/2011/01/21/2011-nba-all-star-game-reserves/#more-3672

    This idiot in the link states his All-Star selections and feels the team w/ the best record doesn’t deserve a single player on the team.

  • ThatBigGuy

    @ TDBE

    Potential doesn’t mean jack squat if you can’t translate it into performance on the court. Randolph’s attitude is such a fatal flaw that his incredible potential is dwarfed. He’s been a pro baller for 3 years and can’t buy his way on to the court. Potential just means he could be something, but he’s not. And that speaks volumes.

    Remember Kwame Brown?

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ ThatBigGuy
    Yes I remember Kwame – I also remember McGrady and Jermaine Oneal – neither got minutes in their 1st few years ….. it took a couple trades and major minutes to get them going……. And then they were ALL – Stars and franchise players………

    @ Bankshot21

    He has more RAW Talent that Lamar Odom – who is probably the most talented Big in the game today that we all know…. And remember talent is simply what skill someone possess. He can shoot, handle the ball, pass, rebound and block shots……. you can’t name a player who can do all those things well unless you are talking about current Stars or top 5 drafts picks….. We don’t have a shot at either….

  • Ed

    I’ll weigh in……
    -on the “hits and misses”….I think you should also take into account that some of the players NOT drafted were bypassed because of questions about how they would “fit in”. One of the reasons the Spurs are so goos is the make up of their teams. No trouble makers, no selfish players, etc. Dose anyone think Monta Ellis, for example, could play for Pop? I don’t.

    -on the trade possibilities….I wouldn’t expect the Spurs to give up Splitter or Anderson or Hill. As far as the real possibilities go….they could probably get McGrady and I’d be ok with him being 3rd or guy off the bench….I actually would like to see Greene in a Spurs uni. The guy is young and I think in need of a good environment. I watched him at Syracuse and he was good, thought he should have stayed another year or 2 but a talented guy. Also, he’s NOT 6′ 11″. They tried to sell that at Syracuse too but he’s more like 6’9″, unless he’s grown since being drafted….Hill or Hamilton would be OK off the bench for cheap, otherwise pass.

  • duaneofly

    TD = Best EVER: I think you are confusing athleticism with talent. You really think the guy is more talented than Duncan, and “he has more talent than 95% of the league” yet he can’t get any court time. He played for Don Nelson, who doesn’t really like young guys, but if you have skills, he’ll play you. But he didn’t play Randolph. Now he’s on the Knicks, with D’Antoni, and he can’t get minutes. That tells me he can’t shoot, and he can’t run the P&R.

    I’ll mention again what another poster said in a different thread about looking at Randolph under Occam’s Razor. What’s more likely? Anthony Randolph is a badass player, who is going to be one of the top 5 players in the league if only some coach would work with him and play him. Or Anthony Randolph just isn’t that good and is relegated to end of the bench because of it.

    As for me having never seen him play, you might be right, but then again, it’s hard to see a guy play when he’s only warranted 110 minutes this year, 749 the last, and 1129 his first. Notice that trend? He got a good amount of minutes for a rookie, then a lot less his second year, and a lot less than that this year.

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ duaneofly

    “TD = Best EVER: I think you are confusing athleticism with talent. You really think the guy is more talented than Duncan, and “he has more talent than 95% of the league” yet he can’t get any court time.”

    Yes I do and I think you and others are confusing Who is more Talented with Who is the Better player.

    Talent – skill set ( what can/can’t a player do well
    Better player – Maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.

    Randolph’s Only real weakness is his Attitude. And that’s all. His game on the floor skills are NBA ready and have been for years. Also many players (T-MaC, Stephen Jackson. J’Oneal) didn’t become good until after a trade or two…… You an Add to that Micheal Beasley, Rasheed Wallace. I could go on but you SHOULD get the point. These are all players who needed a different environment and some 2 new homes in order to thrive.

    We may have ourselves a Randolph clone in Richards. But we need to get him to SA to learn the NBA game and not the Euro game.

  • Hobson13

    TD = Best EVER
    January 26th, 2011 at 5:17 pm

    “Talent – skill set ( what can/can’t a player do well
    Better player – Maximizing your strengths and minimizing your weaknesses.
    Randolph’s Only real weakness is his Attitude. And that’s all. His game on the floor skills are NBA ready and have been for years.”

    I agree with your Randolph sentiments. Randolph, if able to get his act right, can be a very rare talent. At 6’11” he can handle the ball, drive, and can shoot out to 20ft. He is a good rebounder and has the ability to be a GREAT (not good) shot blocker. There’s absolutely no reason we couldn’t play him alongside Duncan, Blair, Splitter, or even Dyess. He could fit in with any combination of those 4.

    Would it be a risk to give up a 1st rounder for him? Of course it would be. We could end up with a headcase and one first round pick lighter. However, look at Michael Beasley’s case in Minnesota. The Heat were giving away a good talent for a bag of salted peanuts. The T-wolves pounced and now Beasley is averaging 20/5 and seems to be a solid citizen. Even with all of Randolphs problems, he is nowhere near the headcase as Beasley. At some point you have to take risks. I think a first and/or second round pick for AR would be worth exploring no matter what our current record may be.

  • rob

    I too have always thought Randolph might pan out better in a more “structured” atmosphere. If anything..the Spurs would teach that to Randolph. And in return perhaps Randolph would mature into a dependable player. He’s not going to beef out any player in the post…but he’d sure wreck havoc on any “beefy” player trying to defend him.

    That said…I’d still take (if it could be done) getting a proven defensive big that could rebound and alter opposing team’s shots at the rim.

    Side note…signing Owens to another 10 day tells me the Spurs aren’t looking via trade to get another backcourt/wing player.

  • Bankshot21

    @TD=B.E.

    Olajuwon in his prime was talented. KG in his prime was talented. TD in his prime talented. Barkley in his prime talented. The trend here is prime. A player must reach his potential to be considered talented. Randolph hasn’t even scratched the surface. Does he have POTENTIAL? Yes. Shaun Livingston had potential. Greg Oden: Potential. I have a feeling the word you’re looking for is versatile. Anthony Randolph isn’t talented but has talent that could potentially make him a talented player. I know it sounds like it makes no sense but those with a broad mind will understand.

  • Bankshot21

    @TD=B.E.

    So your telling me a career 44% FG percentage, 74% FT percentage and abyssmal 9% 3pt percentage are the numbers of a more talented than 95% of the league guy? Or how about his .9 assist to 1.3 turnover rate? The blks and rebs are impressive but no one ever called Ben Wallace one of the most talented players and he dominated both stats for many years. Let’s be realistic with our assessments people. The kid shoots 9% from 3!!!

  • TD = Best EVER

    @ Bankshot21
    “Does he have POTENTIAL? Yes. Shaun Livingston had potential. Greg Oden: Potential. I have a feeling the word you’re looking for is versatile.”

    Versatility is also a Talent. But to your point that you have ti put it together to be called talented…. Really… since when…. Why was Sheed Wallace called the “one of the most talented big men in the league” by every talking head, scout, and analyst with NBA knowledge??? He never reached his potential in STATS. But had great Talent…aka skills. The same can be said of Lamar Odom… because even in their prime Hakeem didn’t have Wallace/Odom range from 3. Or Odom’s ability to handle the ball on the break or play the PointForward like he can. Those are all talents that make them(Odom/Wallace) more talented then the guys you mentioned. But the fact that all those guys(KG, TD, Hakeem) used their talents Better than Wallace/Odom and achieved more with less natural talent, makes them all BETTER!!!

    Also it useless to just look at Shooting % as a gauge of talent…. most bigs shoot 3’s and FT’s poorly…… But when you add up all the things that he can do well and compare to the rest of the league you will see what I mean by TALENT…..

  • Tim in Surrey

    OK, I’ll chime in on Randolph one more time (although at 90+ posts, I’m not sure if anyone will read this).

    I do actually think you guys have a point when you look at him as a lottery-level talent that we would have a chance to get–which is not true through the draft. If you think of him that way, he’s certainly worth a #1 pick. Maybe working with Pop, Timmy & Co. would get him to turn the corner. And he hasn’t produced NOTHING in three years. He did have a couple of stretches at GS where he produced really well. Plus (and here’s where I can claim to have watched him much longer than most of you), he was the SEC PoY at LSU.

    But TD=BE, when you say that his only problem is his attitude, you’re quite right. But unfortunately a bad attitude can outweigh all the talent in the world. There are countless examples. Until he changes his attitude, there’s no way he’ll ever deliver on even a fraction of that potential. Whether or not you think Pop can get him to change his attitude is the question…

    So, surprisingly, I would be happy to trade a #1 pick for Randolph. I just don’t think the Knicks will do it, since virtually every team in the league would trade a #1 for him and the Spurs will have the lowest #1 in this year’s draft.

  • Bankshot21

    @TD=B.E.

    You make good points, I’ll give you that but I still can not agree. Duncan has a better hook shot than Randolph. Randolph shoots the 3 @ a lower % than Duncan. We are knit picking shots that can go on and on. Who’s better with their left and so forth. Randolph can play more positions because of his natural physical attributes. Doesn’t make him more talented.

  • rip hamilton

    I would love to come to San Antonio and play alongsude the greastest power forward of all time just give me a few weeks so my contract can be bought out!!

  • Daniel T

    As far as Anthony Randolph goes, a trade for only a draft pick does not work as his salary is larger than any trade exceptions the Spurs have. The Spurs would have to give up a player or players to get him.

    I can’t come up with a scenario where I’d give up player(s) and/or a draft pick for Randolph that would work out. How about a package that would get Carmelo to the Knicks? The Spur send Tiago, Hill and Neal to Denver, who also picks up the Knick’s first round pick along with Bill Walker and Eddy Curry. Denver sends Ty Lawson to the Spurs, and Carmelo to the Knicks. The Knicks get Carmelo, a first round pick from the Spurs (which they need to have in order to trade their own), and send Randolph and Wilson Chandler to the Spurs.

    The Spurs then have:
    PG’s – Tony Parker, Ty Lawson and Quinn
    SG’s – Manu and Anderson
    SF- RJ, Chandler and Owens
    PF/C – Duncan, McDyess, Blair, Bonner and Randolph

    http://games.espn.go.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=6dumx45