Teams have reportedly reached out to the San Antonio Spurs to check on the availability of guards Derrick White and Dejounte Murray ahead of the NBA trade deadline Feb. 10.
The Spurs (18-31) are struggling to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race, and ESPN's Zach Lowe reported Thursday on The Lowe Post podcast (via HoopsHype) that rival front offices are guaging whether they'll be sellers before the deadline.
"I've also heard ... that people are calling the Spurs and trying to see if they can get Derrick White or even Dejounte Murray," Lowe said (at the 42:57 mark).
San Antonio is one of the NBA's youngest teams with only two players—forwards Doug McDermott, 30, and Thaddeus Young, 33—over 27 years of age.
There have been plenty of growing pains in recent years as the Spurs transition to a new era after decades as a championship contender thanks to David Robinson, Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili, Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard.
They haven't advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs in four years and missed the postseason in each of the past two years, posting their first sub-.500 records since 1996-97.
Any hope that Gregg Popovich's squad would turn a corner this season has faded, as the team sits 2.5 games behind the 10th-seeded Portland Trail Blazers for the final spot in the Western Conference play-in tournament.
Popovich told Mike Finger of the San Antonio Express-News that the situation is "both challenging and satisfying" and joked about past success.
"Timmy got a little bit boring after a while," Popovich said. "You throw him the ball and he scores, come on. ... There is not a lot of coaching there."
The Spurs have not indicated whether they're willing to trade any of their core pieces before the deadline, but it's no surprise Murray and White have potential suitors. Here's how the guards have performed this season:
- Murray: 19.2 PPG, 9.1 APG, 8.4 RPG, 2.0 SPG in 44 games
- White: 14.2 PPG, 5.6 APG, 3.5 RPG, 1.1 SPG in 44 games
Murray is under contract through 2023-24, while White's deal runs through 2024-25.
The Spurs' deadline strategy likely depends on how quickly the front office believes it can return to a perennial playoff level. If that's the goal within the next year or two, San Antonio will want to keep the two key members of its backcourt.
A longer timeline could get the Spurs to listen on offers, more likely for White than Murray, especially with Tre Jones and Joshua Primo trying to earn bigger roles.