The San Antonio Spurs’ streak of 22 consecutive playoff berths came to an end this season and it’s pretty clear that the team needs to make some moves if they want to go back to Championship contention.
There’s been a lot of buzz about the Brooklyn Nets’ interest in luring away Gregg Popovich and while that seems unlikely, there are definitely going to be some changes in the team’s roster for next season.
And, according to CNBC’s Jabari Young, it seems like they could make not one but two blockbuster trades by sending away LaMarcus Aldridge to the Portland Trail Blazers and DeMar DeRozan to the Miami Heat:
“Aldridge will make $24 million next year, and co-star DeMar DeRozan has a $27 million player option. Near the NBA’s trade deadline, the Spurs were rumored to be shopping Aldridge, but rival executives suggest the Spurs “overplayed their hand thinking they were supposed to get some giant package for him,” one NBA executive said.
The Spurs could shop Aldridge again this offseason. Aldridge had repaired his relationship with Blazers superstar Damian Lillard, and one agent suggests the Spurs could ship him back to the Blazers.
On the DeRozan front, he’ll likely decide to pick up his option. The Spurs could build around him, using the team’s bubble play as a roster model or trade him, too, should he opt out. DeRozan is close with Miami Heat star Jimmy Butler, and one agent forecast a possible Spurs-Heat package,” the report read.
Getting read of both of their stars would make a lot of sense right now for the Spurs. Neither of them is an alpha dog, they’re more of a second-gun, and they need to find a bonafide star who could lead the way, so taking their contracts off their books should be a priority.
This is by no means a diss towards Aldridge or DeRozan but their fit with the Spurs has always been questionable. Moreover, it feels like they just don’t meet the timeline of the rest of the team’s young guns.
Gregg Popovich isn’t going to go anywhere and neither is his basketball mastermind. If someone knows how to make the most of his assets – including a lottery pick – that’s him, so expect the Spurs to play some chess this summer.