NBA Trade Rumors: Spurs Should Deal DeJuan Blair to Give Boris Diaw Opportunity

Adam Fromal@fromal09National NBA Featured ColumnistAugust 8, 2012

SAN ANTONIO, TX - APRIL 20:  Forward DeJuan Blair #45 of the San Antonio Spurs reacts against the Memphis Grizzlies in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2011 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

After making the Western Conference finals last season and losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Antonio Spurs might be making a move to change up their current rotation. 

DeJuan Blair could be on the way out, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Douglas Farmer

Blair's offseason improvements could land him a more prominent role somewhere other than San Antonio. He has one more year on his rookie contract, but indications are the Spurs are considering trading Blair after advancing to the Western Conference final without needing much from him. The Spurs signed forward Boris Diaw to a two-year contract this summer. Diaw started all 14 postseason games in 2012 after arriving in San Antonio via a midseason trade.

"Hopefully, I stay a Spur, but if it doesn't happen, life moves on," Blair said. "They've got me on the trade market and they'll do the best to get me in the greatest situation possible."

Blair lost weight and improved his mid-range game during the summer, which should make him an attractive player on the trading block. 

The undersized power forward enjoyed a solid start to his NBA career with the San Antonio Spurs, but his role with the organization who picked him up in the second round of the 2009 NBA draft is starting to diminish gradually.

Unfortunately for Blair—who has always been an easy-to-root-for guy because of his hardworking and respectful demeanor on the basketball court—the Spurs have a better option already on their roster: Boris Diaw.

A former Most Improved Player, Diaw is one of the NBA's more versatile players, capable of running the show as a point-forward and lining up anywhere from small forward to center. 

An unselfish player who signed on with the Spurs this past season after he was waived by the Charlotte Bobcats, Diaw should receive more minutes next year now that he's accustomed to the Spurs' offensive system. 

Those minutes have to come at someone's expense and Diaw looks like the likely candidate. The rotation shift already began during the last campaign (stats via Basketball-Reference): 

Diaw (regular season) 20.3 4.7 2.4 4.3 0.7 0.3
Blair (regular season) 21.3 9.2 1.5 5.5 0.9 0.2
Diaw (postseason) 24.7 6.2 2.5 5.2 0.8 0.3
Blair (postseason) 7.6 3.7 0.2 2.3 0.3 0.1

It's fairly obvious that Blair took a major backseat during the postseason as the team continued to look in other directions. 

For the Spurs, it's time to commit to those other directions. 

Trading Blair and opening up the depth chart for Diaw to earn more minutes is the first step.