Despite failing to extend their playoff streak this season, the San Antonio Spurs still haven’t given any indication that they are planning to undergo a full-scale rebuild in the 2020 offseason. Instead of taking a different route, the Spurs may consider spending Coach Gregg Popovich’s remaining years in the league trying to win another NBA championship title. However, in order to have a realistic chance of fully dominating the Western Conference and bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy, they should find ways to upgrade their current roster this fall.
One of the potential trade targets for the Spurs is Gordon Hayward of the Boston Celtics. According to Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report, the Spurs could explore trading LaMarcus Aldridge to the Celtics in exchange for Hayward and Robert Williams III. If the deal becomes a reality, Hughes believes that it would help both teams improve on their roster.
“Aldridge and Hayward are each entering the final year of their deal, so there’s no concern over long-term money here. San Antonio could use more playmaking on the wing and would benefit from the flexibility of putting Hayward, a better shooter and passer than Rudy Gay, at the 4. Aldridge added stretch this past season, hitting 38.9 percent of a career-high 3.0 long-range tries per game, and that skill set would unlock ample spacing for Boston’s guards and wings—not to mention give Boston another bailout option when the offense gums up. Those turnarounds from the left mid-post are going to fall until Aldridge is 50.”
The proposed scenario would make a lot of sense for the Spurs, especially if they want to become a more competitive team in the Western Conference next year. Hayward would give them a quality veteran who could help them improve their performance on the offensive end of the floor. Hayward has yet to regain his All-Star form, but he’s already showing a massive improvement with his performance.
This season, he averaged 17.5 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 4.1 assists while shooting 50.0 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN. Being traded to the Spurs would also be beneficial for Hayward. Aside from having more playing time and a significant role on the offensive end of the floor, playing under one of the best coaches in NBA history would enable him to become a legitimate superstar in the league.
The departure of Aldridge wouldn’t deeply hurt the Spurs’ rotation. They still have Jakob Poeltl to man the starting center position, and as part of the package, they would also be receiving a young and promising big man in Williams III.