The NBA Finals are past the halfway point, which means the NBA Draft is getting closer and closer. With 12 days left until June 23, and Spurs held three first-round picks (9, 20 via the Raptors, and 25 via the Celtics) as well as the 38th pick in the second round, there are plenty of rumors swirling about what they could do with all that stock. So let’s take a look at some of the more credible out there.
Don’t expect Tottenham to be in a good position
The first – and perhaps least surprising – rumor comes from NBA Big Board member Rafael Barlowe (subscription required), who reports that Spurs are actively seeking to move up the draft and are hoping to “consolidate” some of their picks because they don’t plan to bring three or four rookies to camp training. (Note that all three first-round picks will be on guaranteed deals unless they are stored overseas.)
These two approaches likely go hand in hand, because any team that wants to trade the draft will likely still want at least one pick in return, if not more. Although teams like the Rockets and Kings have expressed their openness to trading their Top 4 picks, carrying out such a trade could prove difficult for Spurs as these teams will be looking for potential franchise movers in return, and about all that Spurs have to do. The show in this respect is Dejounte Murray. This could prove to be a costly deal for Spurs, and even then, awarding Murray that title (for now) might be an exaggeration.
The most likely scenario is for Spurs to fill in late first-round picks (and/or second-round picks) to move into the middle of the first round. For example, the Hornets have the 13th and 15th options in the draft and they have expressed interest in some Spurs players in the past, so perhaps there is room for negotiation there. Another potential trading partner could be the Nuggets, who are said to be looking to bolster their depth scheme across the draft and could trade Spurs’ 21st pick on the 20th and 25th. If nothing else, it would achieve the goal of reducing Spurs’ overall selection. There are a lot of options for Spurs to consider in these two options, so don’t be surprised if they don’t end up choosing one of these two locations.
Are Tottenham a potential business target for OG Anunoby?
The draft is (hopefully) one way Spurs plan to bolster their forward positions, but if they are looking for more immediate help, they may have a suitor in the OG Anunoby Raptors. The 6’7″ petite striker is off the season averaging 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals but is said to be unhappy in his role with his current team, which has a huge depth to the front positions with founding star in Pascal Siakam and 2022 Rookie of the Year 2022 Scotty Barnes.
A former NBA executive told the NBA Analysis Network that:
“If the role is as worrying for OG Anunoby as it seems, Spurs might be his best bet. They don’t have a superstar who takes that many shots and could use a stronger winger to play the four alongside Keldon Johnson.”
Anunoby checks a lot of boxes for the type of player Tottenham are looking to add this summer, and is set to enter the second year of a relatively friendly four-year deal, worth $72 million. While I’m not sure if they can’t trade the 20th Pick back to the Raptors, Spurs could find a draft night deal that would send the 25th Pick and someone like Josh Richardson and/or Jacob Boltle to Toronto, or they could wait for free agency and maybe Do something like sign and trade with Lonnie Walker’s post. Regardless, given Spurs’ needs this season, this is a great thing to keep an eye on.
Add Colin Sexton to the list of big names linked to Tottenham in the Football Association
Spurs are one of the few teams to have flexibility in the caps this summer, and along with future agents Zach Lavigne and Dender Ayton, Cavaliers goalkeeper Colin Sexton has been listed as a potential target for Spurs. While most Spurs fans would scoff at the idea of another goalkeeper, 6’1″ Sexton would provide the Spurs with the goal scorer they currently lack. He missed all but 11 of last season’s games with a meniscus tear in his left knee, but before that he averaged 24.3 points and 4.4 assists during the 2020-21 season. If he doesn’t get a lot of money, it could be a good win for Spurs who need his scoring skills.
While this particular rumor sounds a lot like anything based on actual front office chatter, it’s all worth continuing, especially for a team that has as many options this summer as Tottenham.