NBA Trades: 16 deals the Spurs must consider before the deadline

Jeremy Sochan, Victor Wembanyama, Keldon Johnson
Jeremy Sochan, Victor Wembanyama, Keldon Johnson / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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Spurs-Rockets trade

11) The Spurs receive a recent No. 2 overall pick from the Rockets.

The Houston Rockets, despite being in-state rivals, may be a dark horse trade partner for the Spurs. Former number two overall pick Jalen Green has had a down season for the Rockets, which could potentially re-ignite trade rumors.

Would a deal centered around Green and Keldon Johnson be a possibility? Perhaps. Green has the higher ceiling between the two players but hasn't played up to his potential thus far this season and is extension-eligible after this season.

The Rockets would probably lowball him as a result, likely ensuring that he hits restricted free agency in the summmer of 2025. Instead of going through that, they may shop for him to see what they can get and Johnson might be an appealing option. Johnson put up comparable numbers to Green last season and is on a terrific contract for the next three seasons. Thus, trading for Johnson would allow Houston to forgo an impending contract dispute with Green.

Meanwhile, the Spurs would get a terrific athlete, a decent shooter, and an improved defender who still has an outside chance of becoming a star. Especially playing next to Wembanyama, which would draw attention away from Green. It might not be something that will ultimately happen but there is a case to be made for a Spurs-Rockets deal involving Green and Johnson.