Despite unending calls for them to undergo a full-scale rebuild, the San Antonio Spurs still haven’t given any strong indication that they will be finally taking a different route after the 2019-20 NBA season. However, if they want to prevent themselves from suffering another mediocre season next year, the Spurs should strongly consider making major upgrades on their roster this fall. Though there is only a limited option for them in the 2020 NBA free agency, the Spurs will have plenty of choices on the trade market in the upcoming offseason.
According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, one of the potential trade targets for the Spurs this fall is veteran small forward Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers. In the proposed trade scenario, the Spurs would be sending a trade package that includes Patty Mills, Rudy Gay, and Derrick White to the Sixers in exchange for Harris. The deal works on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine.
If the trade becomes a reality, it would help both NBA teams fill some needs to improve their rosters. If they are determined to continue competing for a playoff spot in the 2020-21 NBA season, trading for Harris makes a lot of sense for the Spurs. Harris may not be a legitimate NBA superstar, but he is capable of making the Spurs a more competitive team in the Western Conference.
As Hughes noted, Harris would give the Spurs a “third star” who could try to help DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge carry the team back to title contention next year. Pairing Harris with DeRozan and Aldridge would “widen the gap and let in a little more air” into the crack in San Antonio’s playoff window.
Meanwhile, though Mills, Gay, and White are not better than Harris, Hughes believes that the Sixers would also greatly benefit from the potential deal.
“Mills would give the 76ers spacing at the point, which would make it easier to use Ben Simmons at the 4, a new thing they’re trying. And Gay, as fourth or fifth options go, might not be all that much worse than Harris, who deserves more opportunities than he’s getting with the Sixers. He’d get them with the Spurs, who need a combo forward who can space and score off the bounce.”
In exchange for Harris, the Sixers would acquire three veteran role players who could create more space for Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons in Philadelphia. With Mills and Gay’s contract expiring after the 2020-21 NBA season, the Sixers could open enough salary cap space to become major players in the 2021 NBA offseason where the likes of Giannis Antetokoumpo, LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, and Paul George are set to become free agents.