So the trade deadline is coming up (this Thursday) and there are trade rumors and speculations flying around. That means that the Spurs will likely be noted for how they will not do anything and thereby successfully have navigated the NBA trade deadline. That being said, it doesn't mean that the entire Spurs nation and beyond isn't speculating what brilliant move that R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich will come up with.
The question when considering any sort of trade speculation is what does the team need and what does the team have to give up. With that, I'd like to say, as much as I might fancy a Danny Green for Al Horford swap, if we contextualize it within this season, it makes relatively little sense, especially given that Tiago Splitter is having season ending surgery. Unless we plan on trading Boris Diaw for an upgrade at the wing, adding Al Horford, while a nice luxury, makes the Spurs unnecessarily thin on the wings. While I think Jonathon Simmons has great potential, I don't know that more of him and Kyle Anderson (and Rasual Butler) would spell success for the Spurs, especially for this pivotal season (potentially Duncan and Ginobili's last).
Let's consider the Spurs' roster, it's legitimately three deep at every position:
PG - Tony Parker, Patty Mills, Ray McCallum
SG - Danny Green, Manu Ginobili, Jonathon Simmons
SF - Kawhi Leonard, Kyle Anderson, Rasual Butler
PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, David West, Matt Bonner
C - Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw, Boban Marjanovic
So who's expendable? The better question perhaps is not that, but rather, who would be able to get us anything of value from another team? The short list that I was able to come up with was this:
Arguably you could say that David West and Boban Marjanovic are on the bubble as well, but I don't think that they're moving any time soon. Given that Ray McCallum, Rasual Butler, and Matt Bonner all make less than $1M, I'd consider them filler at best.
The next question we have to consider is: what are we looking to improve?
Some might say shot blocking. Which may be a fair assessment. Despite Aldridge playing better defense than anyone really anticipated, it is a fair argument to say that the only true rim protector on the team is Duncan. Is Al Horford really the solution? He's solid defensively but he's also noted to be slightly undersized as a C, which is why they traded for Tiago Splitter in the first place. No one else really comes to mind as Tyson Chandler is way too expensive and Sacramento probably won't part with DeMarcus Cousins.
If we consider the wings, one name that pops up is Trevor Ariza, but is he that significant of an upgrade of Danny Green? Or would he be worth the loss of versatility of Diaw? One of those two would have to go.
Two names I'd consider would be Jae Crowder and Evan Turner, but I'm not sure Boston would give them up, especially for anything that the Spurs can offer.
At the end of the day, it just doesn't seem like there's any major move that the Spurs make to improve their chances.