The San Antonio Spurs are a smart team, so their interest in the Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson should come as no surprise.
Per Chris Sheridan of SheridanHoops.com, the Spurs are currently the favorites to land Jefferson, who will become an unrestricted free agent after this season:
The San Antonio Spurs are the front-runners to land Al Jefferson in a trade with the Utah Jazz – and they are frontrunners like Secretariat was in the 1973 Belmont Stakes.
Here’s why, followed by a how.
“Those teams are practically incestuous, they are on such good terms internally,” one NBA source told me Wednesday.
Believe it or not, the "incestuous" comment has plenty of merit. Spurs assistant general manager Scott Layden is fresh off an extended stay with the Jazz, and former San Antonio assistant GM Dennis Lindsey currently works closely with Utah GM Kevin O'Connor.
In other words, these two organizations are like proverbial family.
Outside of their personal connections, a Jefferson deal still makes sense for both sides.
Despite being relatively silent, you just know Utah is going to trade one or both of Jefferson and Paul Millsap. Both are set to become free agents and the Jazz need to usher in the era of Enes Kanter and Derrick Favors.
Sending Jefferson to the Spurs does keep him in the conference, but it allows Utah to grab hold of some much-needed backcourt help in Patty Mills, another solid backup big in Tiago Splitter and probably an expiring contract in Stephen Jackson. Oh, and draft picks. Can't forget about those draft picks.
For the Spurs, Tim Duncan's latest scare should have the team, well, scared. At 36, it's becoming increasingly clear he's not going to play forever and San Antonio would thus welcome the 17 points and 10 rebounds Jefferson can put up a game.
Personally, I'm not a fan of Jefferson's defense, but the Spurs are no stranger to covering up defensive liabilities. And they've done so while becoming the second-ranked defense in the league.
That both Jefferson and Duncan are no stranger to playing alongside other conventional big men provides this rumor with yet another leg to stand on.