The San Antonio Spurs and the Utah Jazz aren’t teams anyone would consider candidates for the NBA title next season but it is time for restructuring in San Antonio and Utah and this trade would help make that possible. Lamarcus Aldridge’s time in San Antonio should be up already, it was up the moment Kawhi Leonard took an exit out of San Antonio and no longer became about a championship for Lamarcus. DeMar DeRozan alone with Lamarcus Aldridge isn’t going to win you a title not even with Gregg Poppovich at the helm so it is time for the Spurs to move Lamarcus Aldridge and the Utah Jazz would be a perfect fit for him as the Jazz sorely need a legitimate second option behind their franchise player Donovan Mitchell.
No one ever mentioned how much the Utah Jazz missed Bojan Bogdanovic in the bubble even though he averaged 20 points per game and shot over 40 percent from 3 point range prior to the corona-virus hitting America. Donovan Mitchell likely defeats the Denver Nuggets with Bojan Bogdanovic available in the bubble and we saw how incredible Donovan Mitchell was scoring the ball notching multiple 50 point games stuff only seen from the legend Michael Jordan. On to Rudy Gobert who has developed into an all-star in Utah and is easily a top 5 center in the NBA at the moment, I remember how the Sixers made the Finals with an elite scorer in Allen Iverson and a big man who was much like Rudy Gobert in Dikembe Mutombo and always wondered what if Allen Iverson played with a legitimate second option in Philly? By no means am I comparing Donovan Mitchell to Allen Iverson although the comparison could be made down the road, I just believe if the Jazz manage to bring Lamarcus Aldridge to Utah Donovan Mitchell can carry the Jazz to a title next season.
It’s not to say Rudy Gobert is not good enough I just don’t see how the Utah Jazz could be considered a legitimate contender for the 2021 NBA title unless they add that second go to scorer behind Donovan Mitchell which is not Mike Conley and won’t be Rudy Gobert. The San Antonio Spurs almost caught the Portland Trailblazers for the 8th spot and if the season had went the full 82 games I wouldn’t have bet against Pop getting the Spurs in the playoffs even if it resulted in a sweep in the first round to the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs have a lot of young talent in Dejounte Murray,Lonnie Walker,Keldon Johnson,Derrick White, and Bryn Forbes to go with all-star DeMar DeRozan who will be a free-agent after the coming season ends. The Spurs ranked 25th in points allowed and Rudy Gobert would certainly improve their defense specially under the tutelage of Gregg Poppovich who was able to coach a dynasty behind Tim Duncan a defensive minded big a lot like Rudy Gobert.
Tim Duncan is an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs now and could help Rudy Gobert round out his game more and help usher the Spurs into a new era. No one ever speaks about the San Antonio Spurs but they always manage to be in the thick of things and I don’t expect that to change going forward. At least 2 of the Spurs current young pieces will make leaps going into next season, you couple that with an elite rim-protector in Rudy Gobert and arguably the best coach in NBA history and you have a team which could turn some heads next season. I’ll go ahead and predict Dejounte Murray remains healthy all of next season and sprouts into the face of the San Antonio Spurs and Derrick White will be spectacular as well. The San Antonio Spurs were able to win 4 titles by surrounding Tim Duncan with Tony Parker who was selected with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2001 NBA Draft and Manu Ginobili who was drafted in the second round of the 1999 NBA Draft with the 57th pick. Derrick White and Dejounte Murray were both drafted 29th in their respective drafts and could turn out to be mainstays in San Antonio over the next decade. I think the Spurs could be a top 5 team in the Western Conference next season with Rudy Gobert at the center position along with the Spurs young nucleus.
As for the Utah Jazz they could be suffering the same fate of the Milwaukee Bucks if they don’t manage to show Donovan Mitchell they are serious about bringing a title to Utah. I think Donovan knows how much winning a championship for the Utah Jazz would do for his legacy, former hall-of-famers John Stockton and Karl Malone carried the Jazz for close to a decade but fell short twice 1997-1998 at the hands of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls back to back seasons. It’s ironic because most wondered what if Karl Malone played alongside more of a score first point guard in Utah or what if John Stockton looked for his shot a lot more? Would that have gave the Jazz a better shot at beats the Bulls in the late 90’s? We will never know but I am wondering the same at the moment, what if Rudy Gobert was more well rounded offensively and could score a bit more? I think if Rudy Gobert could average at least 20 points per game the Utah Jazz would be more of a threat for the title but that is not the type of player Rudy Gobert is and the Jazz don’t have the pieces around Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert to help deliver a title which is why I think they should put an end to the duo.
To conclude this trade is a win-win for both sides, the Spurs’ idea was to bring over Lamarcus Aldridge to pair him with Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio and help extend the Spurs’s championship window as Tim Duncan retired but Kawhi Leonard is long gone, it’s time to move on. Lamarcus would slot in perfectly at the power-forward position or could move over to center in place of Rudy Gobert and allow for the Jazz to play a more versatile starting lineup of Conley-Mitchell-Bogdanovic-O’Neale-Aldridge which would give the Jazz 5 shooters on the floor and what should be a respectable defense behind Quin Snyder who is a defensive guru as a head coach. As for the Spurs DeMar DeRozan could be traded away mid-season opening up even more cap-room for the San Antonio Spurs as 2021 free-agency approaches, LeBron James,Kawhi Leonard,Paul George,and Chris Paul will all be available stay tuned and till next time.