As we briefly mentioned in Smack today, there are rumblings that the Spurs are using Tony Parker as bait to get into the top 10 in Thursday’s NBA Draft. Parker, a three-time All-Star who averaged 17.5 points and 6.6 assists last year, just recently turned 29 and still has three more years and $37 million left on his contract (plus a final year for $12.5 that is unguaranteed).
Yahoo! Sports writes:
The Spurs have talked to teams in the lottery, including the Toronto Raptors and Sacramento Kings, who hold the fifth and seventh picks, respectively. The Kings are determined to get a frontline point guard, and have also talked with the Denver Nuggets about Raymond Felton.
It’s unclear who the Spurs would prefer to take if they acquired a high lottery pick.
If the Spurs were to trade Parker, George Hill could become their starting point guard. League sources said Hill also has drawn trade interest from teams willing to give the Spurs a pick near the back end of the lottery.
ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted earlier that San Antonio wants to attach Richard Jefferson and the $30 million left on his deal into the trade, which would ultimately screw up any opportunity to deal with Toronto or Sacramento. Neither of them would want Jefferson.
Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski also tweeted that the Spurs’ brass has coveted Kings’ forward Omri Casspi for a while, and would probably find a way to bring him to San Antonio along with the pick (Casspi hasn’t exactly been overly happy in California this past year).
The guy the Spurs are targeting? Jonas Valanciunas says DraftExpress.com’s Jonathan Givony. The seven footer would be the perfect Spurs pick. His buyout has teams shying away from picking him, even though he’s probably considered the top international prospect and has All-Star upside. At just 19 years old, he probably won’t be in the NBA until 2012-13 at the earliest. Basically, exactly the type of guy San Antonio always steals.
Keep in mind that Parker has been outspoken all year about San Antonio’s future. He’s said multiple times he doesn’t know if the Spurs can still contend, and seemed to break a level of trust with the organization.
The problem with all of this? By breaking up whatever is left of their core, and then drafting someone who might not contribute for two to three years could spell doom for Manu and Duncan (especially if they also take back salary in return). They can’t afford to wait.
Still, these trade rumors point to one thing: if the Spurs are going to make a move this summer, it will probably involve trading their franchise point guard.
Is it the right move to trade Parker?
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