Unless the Spurs were to land Zach LaVine in free agency, they will likely need to get creative with trade packages to make a substantial move. San Antonio has the No. 9 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft at their disposal, but what else?
Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale identified the top trade chip for every team in the NBA entering the offseason. The pick for the Spurs is Keldon Johnson, who is coming off a season averaging 17.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while shooting 39.8% on 3s.
Keldon Johnson feels like the glitziest of the Spurs’ youthful incumbents. It might be Devin Vassell, who saw more ball screens and in-between work this season. It could be the wiggly mystery box that is Josh Primo. It might even be the No. 10 pick by virtue of its mystery.
The progression Johnson achieved in his career year was impressive and should be enticing to many teams. It all starts with his blend of high-efficiency spot-up shooting despite taking a high volume of attempts.
There were only five players who attempted at least 400 spot-up attempts during the 2021-22 regular season. Johnson’s output of 1.151 points per possession ranked first among the group by a considerable margin.
Perhaps most impressive of all about Johnson’s shooting efficiency is that 62.3 percent of his catch-and-shoot attempts within the half-court were considered guarded. Only Luke Kennard was more efficient on these attempts when stacked up with the 86 players who recorded at least 100 attempts.
There are limitations with Johnson’s shot creation ability and efficiency as a finisher — reducing his ceiling below a star-level talent. However, he’d be a great option to have on a team that has star power, though.
The Spurs have no shortage of intriguing assets to put in trade talks when considering they hold the No. 9, 20, and 25 overall picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. They’ve also recently drafted some intriguing wings in Devin Vassell and Johsua Primo. Let’s not forget about veterans like Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson, too.