SAN ANTONIO — Disclaimer: This is one option for the San Antonio Spurs as they build the roster around Victor Wembanyama. Everything here is a hypothetical course of action the Spurs could consider. For the start of the full choose your own adventure game, click here.
You have decided to trade pick(s) and/or expiring contracts and/or cap space for depth.
Analysis: You want to surround Wembanyama with veterans who can produce, but you don't want to empty the cupboard to do it.
Packaging Doug McDermott, Khem Birch and Devonte' Graham sends out almost $34 million in salary this coming season. McDermott and Birch are on expiring deals, and Graham is only partially guaranteed the season after this one.
The Spurs could use some or all of that and potentially add draft considerations and absorb money into their cap space to facilitate a wide variety of trades.
Taking back a big contract could be a framework for adding talent whether the target player is signed to that contract or not. See if the Warriors want to get out of the Jordan Poole business and fork over Johnathan Kuminga in the process.
Do the Suns want to swap out Chris Paul or even Deandre Ayton for some depth and flexibility?
How many picks does it take to pry Mikal Bridges or Cam Johnson from Brooklyn? Would you use cap space to help the Nets with their Ben Simmons problem?
Do the Blazers want to build around Dame and Scoot and flip Anfernee Simons?
Use your imagination and the trade machine to accomplish your goals, but also use your brain. Think about whether or not the deals you're proposing are the kind of things the other team would consider approving.
At the end of the day the Spurs have a plethora of valuable assets they can use for smaller trades, or as part of a bigger deal. Expect a ton of tire kicking until they find something to pull off the lot in.
That flexibility doesn't all need to be used at once. Holding fire until the deadline might get the best package in return.
This sort of deal would add several experienced players to this group:
- PG: Blake Wesley
- SG: Devin Vassell, Malaki Branham
- SF: Keldon Johnson
- PF: Victor Wembanyama, Jeremy Sochan
- C: Zach Collins, Charles Bassey, Khem Birch
- Cap holds: Tre Jones, Keita Bates-Diop, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Romeo Langford, Dominick Barlow, Julian Champagnie
This could give San Antonio a seasoned pro to set Wembanyama up, help his development from the jump and increase the chances of earning a spot in the postseason in year one.
If they take on long-term bad money, it could limit their ability to sign free agents both now and in the future. There's a middle road that adds some talent while maintaining a good amount of flexibility.
The players you get in return for these deals dictate how important it is to bring Tre Jones back, and how possible it is to extend Devin Vassell beyond this season.
Fill out the roster by bringing players back and/or signing free agents to smaller deals, and you could be looking at a fringe playoff team.
If you send out the expiring deals now, though, it probably makes it a bit harder to trade for a star if that's something you were thinking about doing this season.
To start over, click here.