Recent intel hints Spurs may already be playing hardball in possible trade for star

Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Justin Ford/GettyImages

With the San Antonio Spurs gearing up for what could be a big offseason, many have speculated whether they could make a run at some of the rumored top trade candidates. Donovan Mitchell, Trae Young, and Dejounte Murray are all projected to be available this summer, and the Spurs have the assets to theoretically make a splashy trade.

However, a surprising report suggests that the Spurs aren't interested in acquiring Young, who has been a rumored trade target. If true, that would be a surprising turn of events since Young, at least on paper, would be a perfect fit playing alongside Victor Wembanyama.

That being said, the Hawks would probably want three first-round picks for their best player if they were to trade him to the Spurs. San Antonio owns Atlanta's 2025 and 2027 unprotected firsts and a 2026 pick swap, all of which could be very valuable to the Spurs.

On the other hand, the Hawks can't rebuild or even retool without having their own first for the next three seasons and they haven't been known to be a free agent destination. Therefore, they'd almost certainly want their selections back, if given the chance.

The San Antonio Spurs may be playing hardball with the Hawks.

The news getting out that the Spurs aren't interested in Young but potentially interested in Murray may be a strategy on their part. They likely know that the Hawks are primarily interested in trading Young for draft assets and are probably hoping to reacquire their own selections so that they can tank.

Meanwhile, Murray would cost less, possibly a first-round pick and a couple of seconds and the Spurs also know him well, since he spent six seasons in San Antonio. They could offer up non-Atlanta picks such as their 2025 first and Charlotte's lottery-protected 2025 first, which would turn into two second rounders if it doesn't convey, for Murray.

After failing to trade him at the deadline, the Hawks may not get much more than that. Or they could conceivably lower their asking price for Young in the hopes of retrieving some of the assets they gave up by acquiring Murray in the first place. The Spurs may offer up the least favorable of the Bulls, Hawks, and their own pick, all in 2025, as well as Atlanta's 2026 and 2027 firsts.

That would essentially mean San Antonio trades two firsts and relinquishes the rights to a 2026 pick swap for Young. Whether the Hawks agree to that deal, or the Spurs even make the offer remains to be seen. However, San Antonio needs a major upgrade at point guard, and Young makes too much sense for them not to consider making a move to acquire him.