4. Trade for Jalen Smith
The Spurs and Suns have been talking about Jalen Smith since before the season. There were rumors the Spurs might go after the Suns backup in September. It makes sense. The Suns really don’t have the minutes to give him with their starting lineup set in stone. Back then, the Spurs were talking about swapping Smith and other pieces for Thad Young.
Smith was the 10th-overall pick of the 2020 NBA Draft. He’s not even close to his prime right now. He’s averaging basically 6 points and 5 rebounds per game despite only getting 13 minutes every night. He’s a player that clearly needs an expanding role in the offense. If the Spurs can turn a distressed asset like Thad Young into Jalen Smith now, and add a player or two to match contracts, then this would be a great move for the Spurs.
Smith is the type of player that could come into his own on a bad Spurs team, and then once this team is ready to compete, he’s ready to break out. Let him make his mistakes now while his career is young and the expectations are low. If he’s trying to do that on a Suns team that’s looking for a championship, the pressure might be too much.
Smith is playing behind Deandre Ayton, so unless there’s an injury he will literally never be a starter. The Suns might ask for more than just Thad Young, but the Spurs would be smart to buy low on a player they’ve been looking at since the draft.