Tea San Antonio Spurs currently find themselves in the early stage of a rebuilding effort. Adding talent through the NBA Draft ahead of what is considered a loaded class is the priority. However, making moves on the margins for young talent is another option.
It feels almost right as Dejounte Murray earned his first All-Star appearance; he’s already found his way to a new team. By prioritizing a trade package focused on future draft capital, the Spurs have positioned themselves to be patient and re-tool organically.
The Spurs have selected some intriguing prospects in the NBA Draft in recent years. Between the emergence of Keldon Johnson and flashes from Devin Vassell, there is genuine talent on the wing in San Antonio. Both players will have the 2022-23 campaign to showcase more significant potential.
The Spurs used the 9th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft to select Jeremy Sochan out of Baylor. While it remains to be seen how rookies who have yet to play in the league will pan out, he does seem to offer intriguing defensive versatility.
In addition to Sochan, the Spurs used first-round selections to draft Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley, who could add backcourt depth as the rebuild progresses. However, there still is long-term uncertainty with their backcourt depth. Who will step up as the starting point guard? It currently remains to be seen.
There are some external options the Spurs could consider. With Jakob Poeltl entering the final year of his current contract, perhaps he could be moved in a trade to bring a young guard to San Antonio with some upside, if given an expanded opportunity.
In a trade speculation piece focused on compiling three trades for the Spurs to go all-in on rebuilding, NBA Analysis Network put together a trade proposal that would send Coby White to San Antonio. In exchange for White and Marko Simonovic, the Chicago Bulls would acquire Poeltl.
Chicago Bulls Receive: C Jakob Poeltl
San Antonio Spurs Receive: G Coby White, C Marko Simonovic
Coby White has shown an ability to score the basketball early in his NBA career after being selected with the 7th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. He’s averaged 13.7 points per game throughout the initial 195 regular season games of his three-year career. The main issue has been consistency and making a sufficient defensive impact.
There is a backcourt logjam for the Bulls after recently bringing in Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. It’s clear the current regime wants impactful on-ball defenders to guard the point of attack while not necessarily viewing White’s skill-set as the optimal fit. It’s not hard to blame them considering they have DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine on the wings.
White would have the chance to earn a larger role with the Spurs. If he has a strong 2022-23 campaign, he could present an option for San Antonio in the backcourt to produce microwave scoring. If he doesn’t remain as a long-term starter, he could be an intriguing sixth man.
The Bulls did sign Andre Drummond in free agency, so some may question why they need to make a trade for another big man? For starters, Drummond isn’t actually that impactful. He’s always been inefficient offensively for an interior big man and he has limitations with guarding out in space.
Poeltl would bring a technical approach with his positioning on defense to a Bulls defense that sorely needs an anchor when Nikola Vucevic’s offensive impact is not outweighing his lack of contributions on defense. Also, Poeltl could serve as a succession plan to Vucevic given both players will be on expiring salaries.
You can follow Grant Afseth on Twitter at @GrantAfseth.
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