San Antonio Spurs: 10 Trade Options To Stay Ahead of the L.A. Lakers
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The San Antonio Spurs, believe it or not, are dominating the Western Conference and the NBA this year.
To casual basketball fans, they play a boring brand of professional basketball.
But to basketball enthusiasts, these Spurs are as fundamental of a team as there has been in recent history.
The Spurs currently have the best home and away records, good enough for a league best 42-8 mark.
While the best record in the NBA is something to be proud of, there is plenty of work to do.
Many question if the aged legs of the Spurs will be able to hold up through the playoffs, and they might be right.
Here are 10 trades the Spurs should look into if they want to hold off the defending-champion Lakers in the Western Conference.
10. Sign Jerry Stackhouse
Veteran leadership is a winning quality in the NBA, and Stackhouse has it
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I know what you are thinking. The last thing that the San Antonio Spurs need this year is another player with at least 10 years of NBA experience.
But Stackhouse makes sense.
He has already expressed his desire to play for a contender this year.
Stackhouse started off the season with the Miami Heat, but was waived a few weeks into the season when the Heat added much-needed frontcourt depth in Erick Dampier.
Just a few days ago, Stackhouse was cited saying that he wanted to play for another Eastern Conference contender, the Chicago Bulls.
If the Spurs came a knockin’, Stack would answer.
You might think that Stackhouse does not have anything left in his tank, but you are probably the same person who says half of the Spurs don’t either.
Stackhouse showed last year with the Milwaukee Bucks that he can still do something very important: score.
Jerry could come off the bench, provide stability, leadership and play 5-to-15 quality minutes a night.
The Spurs could do a lot worse than picking up Stackhouse.
Plus, Jerry comes cheap. If they picked him up for rest of the season, it would be well under $1 million.
Think about this one San Antonio, think about it.
9. Re-Sign Fabricio Oberto
Oberto could be a huge part of the Spurs frontcourt come playoff time
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Re-signing Oberto would be a very low risk move by the Spurs.
The Argentinean has already played five seasons with the Spurs, cutting out any possible learning or “getting used to the system” time that would be wasted.
There is one major problem.
Oberto retired abruptly just a few weeks into this season, mentioning heart conditions as his problem. Now don’t get this wrong, heart conditions are an extremely serious problem.
But things seem to be improving for Oberto.
Oberto was at a Spurs versus Rockets game recently, followed by being spotted at the Spurs practice facility the next day.
Oberto was also quoted by a San Antonio newspaper saying that he might be able to come back if he passes a series of heart tests.
So after passing the appropriate medical tests, Oberto would have to get back into game shape. Subsequent to that, he’s up for grabs.
A player like Oberto could go a long way to provide the Spurs steadiness in the frontcourt come playoff time.
Go ahead San Antonio, get your big man back.
8. Make Room For Antawn Jamison
Antawn Jamison's time in Cleveland has been frustrating to say the least
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This situation will easily be the hardest for the Spurs front office to pull off.
But, if the Spurs can somehow acquire Jamison, they will without a doubt be the favorites to win this year’s title.
Some critics might say Jamison doesn’t have enough left in the tank to be a key part of championship team. Those are probably the same people that say Tim Duncan can’t play at an All-Star level anymore.
Jamison has without a doubt had bad luck the past couple years. Last year he was in Washington during the Arenas gun debacle, before he was shipped to Cleveland for LeBron James' last few months with the Cavaliers.
After James left Cleveland this summer, Jamison was left in just about the same situation he was in Washington (and probably worse).
Imagine going from the worst team in the NBA to the best. A move like that can fire a player up in so many ways.
Jamison would bring an added dimension to the Spurs that would separate them from the rest.
Antawn is a skinny, quick and athletic power forward that the Spurs don’t possess.
San Antonio needs to acquire Jamison now, win a championship this year, then figure out the financials of the deal after the dust settles.
7. Trade For O.J. Mayo
O.J. has had a bumpy ride in Memphis this year
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Trading for O.J. Mayo out of the Memphis Grizzlies will be the Spurs most risky move before the trade deadline.
O.J. has had a turbulent season to say the least.
After fighting Tony Allen on a team plane earlier this year, he was recently suspended for violating the NBAs anti-drug policy. That’s what we call a double whammy.
Character problems are a huge issue that can destroy a locker room.
But if anyone can mold a player into a better person quickly, it’s Greg Popovich.
If Popovich is able to get Mayo to buy into the system, this would be an enormous addition for the Spurs.
Plus, with all the trouble Mayo has been in recently, he is a guy you can probably get cheap.
If the Spurs want to take a chance on this guy, the sky is the limit for him in their rotation.
Unfortunately, it’s a pretty big risk since Mayo has shown very few signs of maturing during his time in the NBA.
This is a high-risk, high-reward scenario for Popovich and the Spurs.
6. Move James Anderson Into The Rotation
James Anderson has the all around ability the Spurs need
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The great part about this move is that it is not an actual move at all.
The Spurs need to simply just put Anderson in the rotation and let him prove why he was one of the biggest snubs of last years draft.
Unfortunately, the Spurs don’t think he is ready yet.
Anderson was sent back down to the D-League for the second time this year, presumably to get more game experience.
The rookie out of Oklahoma State has seen some quality action this year however.
In the very first week of the season, Anderson was in the rotation, giving the Spurs quality minutes.
James did his best Andre Iguodala impersonation by filling up the stat sheets with points, rebounds, assists, blocks and even steals.
This type of across the board production is exactly what the Spurs need.
Put him in the rotation, sit back and watch Anderson prove how NBA-ready he really is.
This one is a no-brainer San Antonio.
5. Trade For Troy Murphy
T-Murph still has the ability to stroke the long shot
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Troy Murphy is really a guy that would fit in well with the Spurs.
His blend of size, shooting ability and fresh legs would be awesome for the Spurs.
Murphy is basically another version of Matt Bonner except he is quicker, can dribble better, is capable of driving to the bucket, and is very hungry as a player.
Apparently Avery Johnson doesn’t think he is good enough to play for his 15-37 team. But, trust me, he is plenty capable.
T-Murph has been inactive for what seems like forever now.
Fresh legs like that would be music to the Spurs ears at this point in the season.
The one problem is Murphy’s contract, but that expires after this season.
The Nets will probably want another pick for Murphy’s contract, so if the Spurs trade their first round pick (likely 25 or later), it would not be a huge risk.
Murphy is a “Popovich guy,” so go ahead and pull the trigger San Antonio.
4. Trade For Anthony Randolph
Anthony Randolph has been a mystery man in the NBA so far
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Now, the average basketball fan might not think this trade would make much sense. But let’s take a deeper look into this.
Critics can easily say “Randolph hasn’t done anything in three years in the NBA,” and that is true.
But take a look at who he has played for.
Starting off in Golden State, Randolph was trapped in Don Nelson’s crazy rotation mix for two years. Being constantly teased for playing time, Nelson most likely set Randolph back in growing as a player.
This past offseason, Randolph was shipped to New York to play for Mike D’Antoni. D’Antoni’s run and gun offense is made for a lot of people, but Randolph isn’t one of them.
If Randolph is put into a steady system like the Spurs’ he could do some serious damage.
Randolph, only 21-years-old, has plenty of ability.
He plays a point-forward type of role, giving defenders fits at all times.
This type of added dimension would make the Spurs that much more dangerous team come playoff time, making Randolph a legit trade option.
3. Trade For Corey Brewer
Brewer is an all around type of player that could blend in the Spurs rotation
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There might not be a player on this list that would fit better into the Spurs system than Corey Brewer.
Brewer is a no-mistake, quality decision maker, all-around player the Spurs preach for.
He can play multiple positions and he can guard all of them too.
With recent rumblings that the Timberwolves will not re-sign Brewer, why not go after him?
There can’t be that high of a price tag for a guy like Brewer.
Trading for Brewer almost makes too much sense. Plus, he has never been in the headlines for character issues, something Popovich would love.
With the recent trade discussions involving Brewer, don’t be surprised if the Spurs throw their hat in the ring sometime soon.
Brewer could come in for Parker or Ginobili, further giving the Spurs studs some much needed rest.
If the Spurs keep their expectations to a solid off the bench guy, they will be very pleased with acquiring Brewer.
Don’t second guess this one San Antonio, go get Brewer.
2. Trade For Shane Battier
Battier proved in last years playoffs he can guard Kobe Bryant
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Trading for Shane Battier would be absolutely huge for San Antonio.
Not only can Battier play defense, but he can play it at a very high level. On top of that, he can play it at a very high level versus the Spurs biggest foe: Kobe Bryant.
Refer back to last year’s playoffs where Battier was a lockdown defender on Bryant. That type of defensive presence on the court would be so incredibly big for the Spurs.
Battier was so good versus Bryant in the playoffs last year that President Obama acknowledged him for it.
Battier was told the President was proud of him for his defense and leadership skills on the court.
Adding to the argument of signing Battier, the Rockets have allegedly announced they will not re-sign him after this season.
If they aren’t going to re-sign him, why not trade him?
Go ahead San Antonio, throw a draft pick for him. Having a stopper like that makes the Spurs a much better team on defense, if that is entirely possible.
Don’t be shy San Antonio, get the veteran Battier and make yourselves that much better.
1. Trade For Richard Hamilton
Hamilton has had plenty of time to rest so far this year
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This would easily be the best and biggest move the Spurs could make.
Signing Rip Hamilton makes the Spurs better in so many ways.
He can score, drive, shoot, dribble, drive and, most importantly, defend.
Rip has had a very bad year in Detroit so far.
It all started off with "trade talks" that got Rip benched.
Pistons coach John Kuester said they didn't want Hamilton to get hurt before a pending trade (that never happened) so he has been benched forever now.
The average person would assume that this benching would wear down on a player and cause them to have lots of rust.
But if we have learned anything from Hamilton in his career in the NBA, he is a true workaholic.
Hamilton has been known for years for his amazing nutrition he puts into his body and complete work ethic as a player.
If the Spurs can somehow adsorb the 6'3'' shooting guard's contract for the next few years, they would be immediate favorites this year.
Hamilton may be getting older, but like Ray Allen, he is a timeless player that will always work hard and play at an extremely high level.
San Antonio should go after Hamilton while the Pistons don't know what they are doing with him.