With Kyrie Irving signaling his intentions to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers via a trade, a team that could use the point guard is the San Antonio Spurs. As was reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Irving would be willing to sign an extension in San Antonio if he was moved there. The question lingers if the Spurs have enough pieces they can move to trade for the four-time All-Star.
How Irving fits the Spurs
The Spurs may have plenty of point guards on their roster but there is no question that they would do away with most, if not all, of them to bring Irving in. A look at the current crop shows a 35-year old Tony Parker who is untradeable as he currently holds zero value, the recently re-signed Patty Mills, and both Dejounte Murray and Bryn Forbes, who are really just role players off the bench.
The 25-year-old would offer a much-needed scoring threat and ease the burden on Kawhi Leonard, who shouldered most of the load throughout the playoffs. With a fairly old roster to play alongside, Leonard needs help. Last season Irving averaged 25.2 points per game in 72 regular season contest while contributing 5.8 assists. Kyrie is also an efficient scoring option; he shot 47.3% from the field and 40.1% from downtown.
San Antonio were ranked 14th in points scored per game and seventh in field goal percentage last season, and there is no doubting that Irving would be able to improve the Texans on the offensive end.
Would Kyrie put San Antonio back in the conversation?
There is no questioning that the Spurs would be back in the title hunt if they could secure the services of Irving. Currently, San Antonio are the third seed at best with Houston and Golden State a gulf apart in terms of depth and strength of roster quality. Teams in the Western Conference have become stronger with Oklahoma City giving up little to rent Paul George for a season whilst Minnesota have shot up the prediction charts by trading fringe players for Jimmy Butler.
Portland are still a dangerous proposition and are one trade away from being in the conversation, although the Clippers may have lost Chris Paul, they have some interesting pieces and could be a sneaky threat if they can make the playoffs. The Spurs have been uninspiring throughout the offseason and only a player with Irving’s stature could bring San Antonio back into the title conversation.
Is a deal possible?
Unlikely. The Cavaliers will be looking for a first rounder, blue chip player on a rookie-type contract and a high-caliber asset in return for the 2016 Olympic gold medalist. As we look at the Spurs roster, there is really only one player that pops off the page and that’s Leonard; there is no chance San Antonio trade their best player who plays both ends of the floor.
So with the 26-year-old off the table, the Spurs possess an aging roster with Parker, who is well past his prime, Manu Ginóbili, who is most likely in his last season, and Pau Gasol, who they just gave $48 million over three years. They’ve also re-signed Mills as well bringing in Rudy Gay from Sacramento. Then you have the wantaway forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who the Spurs have vigorously tried to trade throughout the summer with little success. Unless they manage to pull off a trade-table masterstroke, the Spurs aren’t likely to secure a deal as they simply don’t have the assets that could appease Cleveland.
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