Though their 22-year playoff streak has finally come to an end this season, there’s no 100 percent assurance that the San Antonio Spurs will undergo a full-scale rebuild this fall. With coach Gregg Popovich still at the helm, there remains a huge possibility that the Spurs will try competing for the championship title again next year. Instead of trading their veterans and gathering young and promising talents in the 2020 offseason, rumors are circulating that the Spurs may consider targeting players that would help them return to the Western Conference Playoffs in the 2020-21 NBA season.
Compared to other non-playoff teams, there’s only a minimal chance for the Spurs to win the lottery in the 2020 NBA Draft. However, if they miraculously get the No. 1 pick, Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report believes that the Spurs should strongly consider using it as the main trade chip to acquire Kevin Love and Collin Sexton from the Cleveland Cavaliers this fall. In the proposed trade scenario, the Spurs could send a package that includes Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, Keldon Johnson, and the 2020 first-round pick to the Cavaliers for Love and Sexton.
“The San Antonio Spurs’ 22-year-playoff streak is over, and they need to add significant talent to start another run next season. Kevin Love, a five-time All-Star, and Collin Sexton, a 20-points-per-game scorer, would spark a starting lineup that could also include LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray and DeMar DeRozan if DeRozan picks up his player option or signs a new deal.”
Love and Sexton would be intriguing acquisitions for the Spurs. Both of them are prolific scorers and could help the team improve their offensive efficiency that currently ranks No. 5 in the league, scoring 110.4 points per 100 possessions, according to ESPN. Love and Sexton may not make much impact on the defensive end of the floor, but once they play under Popovich, they could flourish into reliable defenders.
With the team still in the initial phase of the rebuilding process, the proposed trade deal would be a no-brainer for the Cavaliers. It would allow them to swap Love’s lucrative deal for the expiring contracts of Gay and Mills, which would enable them to open a huge chunk of their salary cap space in the summer of 2021 and chase big names in the 2021 free agency.
Aside from saving money, the Cavaliers would also be acquiring assets that could help them speed up the rebuilding process. Though he only played limited games in his rookie year, Johnson could provide wing depth in Cleveland. Using the No. 1 pick, the Cavaliers could find an immediate replacement for Sexton by selecting either LaMelo Ball or Anthony Edwards in the 2020 NBA Draft.