Spurs make one move at trade deadline, go 1-3 over past week

Dalton Hartmann, Assistant Magazine Editor

With the NBA trade deadline ending this week, a lot has happened around the league, and for the first time since 2014, the Spurs made a trade. Granted, the trade was nothing too noteworthy, with Golden State trading Marquese Chriss to San Antonio for Cady Lalanne. With this being the only trade for the Spurs, this could be considered a huge failure for the franchise. With contracts such as Demar DeRozan, Rudy Gay and LaMarcus Aldridge all expiring at the end of this season, it was very important to get value out of these players via trades. As many fans may know, Aldridge and the Spurs have reached a buyout which now makes Aldridge a free agent, showing the importance of getting trades off instead of letting players become free agents. I, along with most Spurs fans, will miss Aldridge and am very thankful for all he has done for the organization. With Aldridge now off the team, I believe this will make room not only in cap space but also for players who are wanting to make a name for themselves. Even though mid-season trades were happening, games were still being played, and in this week of games, the Spurs went 1-3. This week was definitely harder for the Spurs than previous weeks have been, with them having to play the Charlotte Hornets, the Los Angeles Clippers twice and the Chicago Bulls.

The first game of the week against the Hornets was a real nail-biter, with the game coming right down to the wire. The game opened up with Charlotte out to an early lead thanks to the help of Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier. The Spurs were still down 10 at the half but closed the lead early in the third to only five thanks to DeRozan and his unstoppable mid-range shooting. Late in the fourth, the Spurs trailed by one with 8.2 seconds on the game clock and the ball in the Hornets’ possession. Unfortunately, Keldon Johnson committed a foul, which sent Hayward to the line where he made both shots, putting the Spurs down three with eight seconds on the clock. The Spurs did get the ball which gave just enough time for an attempt to tie. The inbound pass went to Patty Mills, who managed to get a clean shot, but it just was not meant to be with the ball hitting the back of the rim and deflecting out. 

Final: 100-97, Hornets 

The next games for the Spurs were back-to-back games against the Clippers, who are one of if not the top team in the league. These games played out pretty much exactly how you thought they would. In the first game, the Clippers opened up a huge lead and only added to it, managing a 33 point victory by the end of the game. There is not too much to say about this game other than the fact that one team had Kawhi Leonard and the other team did not, and the team with Leonard is going to win. The second game was much closer, with the Spurs even holding the lead at the half. It is important to mention that Leonard was not playing this game which may account for why the game looked as close as it did. As I mentioned before, the Spurs had a six-point lead at the half and were doing a great job moving the ball around. During the second half, the movement seen in the first half disappeared, and with that, the Spurs’ ability to score. Even with the best player out on the Clippers, players like Paul George and Reggie Jackson are still there to dominate the court, which is exactly what happened. George had 24 points, and Jackson had 28, which was just too much for the Spurs to handle. 

Final: 134-101, Clippers

Final: 98-85, Clippers

The final game of the week was against the Bulls, who have recently added some great pieces to their team, such as Nikola Vucevic at center and K.C. Johnson as a guard. Even though Vucevic had a stellar performance with his 21 points and nine rebounds, this team is still very far from being complete, which can only come with time and practice together. The game was very Spurs-favorited, with every starter having huge contributions and even the key bench players putting up big points. Overall, this was a game against a team who has just started to find their identity and a team who has found it, and fortunately for the Spurs, star power does not always win.

Final 104-120, Spurs