Spurs Should Explore Trade for $197M Star: NBA Writer

Darius Garland and Victor Wembanyama

Getty Darius Garland guards Victor Wembanyama during an NBA game.

With the San Antonio Spurs gearing up for a busy summer as they try to shore up the talent around Victor Wembanyama this offseason, NBA writer Isaac Levy-Rubinett suggests a Cleveland Cavaliers All-Star guard as another intriguing target to pair with their star big man, especially if a deal for Trae Young does not materialize.

Levy-Rubinett listed Darius Garland as another player that the Spurs could consider because he has a similar skill set and compatibility that Young could give for Wembanyama.

“Perhaps the most interesting potentially available star-level player is Trae Young, who has been linked to the Spurs in rumors since before the trade deadline.” Levy-Rubinett wrote on his April 12 article for the Ringer. “Young’s reputation as stubborn and ball-dominant seems at odds with the Spurs “way”—as does coughing up the presumed bevy of draft picks it would take to trade for him, but the on-court fit is tantalizing.”

“His genius as a passer, and specifically as a lob-thrower, would generate a procession of easy looks for Wembanyama. (The Spurs should check in with the Cavs about Darius Garland for the same reason.),” Levy-Rubinett continued.

Young has emerged as a popular trade target for the Spurs, with several analysts including Levy-Rubinett, believing his playing style complements Wembanyama’s, potentially unlocking more o for the tandem to dominate on the floor.

This season, Young has once again led the Hawks in scoring (26.0 ppg) and assists (10.8 apg) per ESPN stats, securing his third All-Star game appearance.

While Garland isn’t quite the double-double machine like Young, he also puts up above-average numbers (18.0 ppg and 6.5 apg) at the point guard spot. He does all of this despite sharing the same backcourt with Donovan Mitchell, who has a reputation for being a volume shooter.

Cavs’ Upcoming Extensions Makes Garland Tradable

ESPN NBA analyst Brian Windhorst thinks the possibility of Garland being traded elsewhere increases should the Cavaliers lock in Mitchell and Evan Mobley to contract extensions.

“If you have Evan and Donovan as the two guys you are locked in to, and you said okay these guys have signed with us and they are extending with us and they are going to be here,” Windhorst said in his April 10’s guesting on ESPN Cleveland. “That’s a good place to be in if you have two guys locked down.”

“Then I might see what the market would be for Garland and Jarret Allen. It’s not because I don’t like Jarret Allen, it’s just I don’t think Allen and Mobley fit together,” Windhorst added.

Garland Would Bolster The Spurs Backcourt

Bleacher Report writer Greg Swartz has already floated the idea of forming a Wembayama-Garland pairing in San Antonio, adding that the Cavs guard would significantly improve the Spurs’ backcourt.

“Garland, who’s under contract for the next four seasons, checks all of those boxes.” Swartz wrote in his March 30 article on B/R. “Even in a “down” year where he missed time with a fractured jaw, Garland is still putting up 18.5 points and 6.3 assists per game and would be a substantial upgrade over Tre Jones.”

Garland has four years remaining on his five-year, $197 million rookie deal extension after this season, according to Spotrac, However, with Mitchell and Mobley up for extensions this offseason, Cleveland may have to move a salary or two to another team to retain the futures cornerstones of the team, in this case Mitchell and Mobley.