How a Clippers trade with Spurs could add point-of-attack defender

Tyronn Lue LA Clippers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
Tyronn Lue LA Clippers (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) /
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LA Clippers
Brandon Boston Jr., LA Clippers. Photo by David Berding/Getty Images /

A nice, simple trade construction for the Spurs

Some NBA trades and trade ideas spiral out of control as the number of players on each side has to stack up to the sky to make the money and value work. Instead, our trade idea here will stay nice and simple. The LA Clippers call up the San Antonio Spurs and offer a former second-round pick for the Spurs’ former second-round pick, a simple 1-for-1 swap with a little cheddar thrown in.

Tre Jones has been starting at point guard for the Spurs this season out of necessity, as they have traded both Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in the past year and released Josh Primo earlier this season. Jones hasn’t proven himself as a starting-level point guard, but he has done enough for teams like the Clippers to be intrigued.

The Spurs aren’t playing to win games in 2023, nor likely in 2024 either. They may want to keep Jones around throughout the rebuild, but they may also decide to short the Clippers’ future and flip Jones for a potentially high-value second-round pick down the line. By 2028 the Clippers’ stars could have moved on and the team could be mired in the lottery; it’s a long time away.

Jones has proven himself a solid facilitator and hard-nosed defender, but his impact hasn’t been enough to elevate the Spurs out of 30th in defense this season. He isn’t helping the Spurs, and they can take a flier on a wing in Brandon Boston Jr. and get some value back for Jones now.