The San Antonio Spurs failed to qualify for the playoffs last season for the first time since 1996-97. That’s something they’re trying to avoid doing for a second year in a row, and they’ve had a relatively strong showing throughout the first half of the season. Currently in seventh place in what’s already a tough Western Conference, players like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge have kept them in the hunt, stringing together a few different winning streaks throughout the year.
While rumors have been swirling around as they always do, many assumed that the Spurs would be sellers before the deadline as several teams have shown interest in trading for DeRozan. And why shouldn’t they be interested? DeRozan has averaged 20.6 PPG and 7.4 APG this season, hitting 50.9% of his field goals throughout February and March. He’s good for an all-but-guaranteed 20+ points in any given game, and would help out any team in search of making a playoff run. On the flip side, he’s virtually useless from outside the arc, hitting only 2-for-9 throughout March, with an abysmal 3-for-14 in February. Nearly all his attempts are two-pointers, making him less than an ideal option for late game rallies. Regardless, he’s likely to still be at the forefront of trade rumors as we approach the deadline.
Chicago Bulls power forward Lauri Markkanen has been linked to the Spurs in trade rumors recently as well, as he’s been a force to reckon with from three-point country, hitting nearly 40 percent of his shots from outside. That’s not a small stat for a seven-foot-tall forward, and the Spurs would easily benefit from adding a shooter with that kind of accuracy to their squad. San Antonio has some cap room to make the deal happen and could offer up to the $28.1 million max for the 23-year-old.
Overall, some rumors surrounding the veteran players have mostly died down, and it’s more than likely that the Spurs won’t make any big moves before the deadline is up. With options on the table, though, and a chance to make a big push for the playoffs, it’s possible they could deal out one of their veterans and rely more on the younger guys like Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson who have both had a decent showing so far this season.