Why the Spurs should consider the deal
The Spurs, who are facing a roster crunch, are likely to release Khem Birch to get under the league’s roster threshold. Birch was a throw-in in the Jakob Poeltl deal, which was centered around helping the Spurs nab draft capital, and didn’t play for the Spurs at all after being acquired.
In the deal with the Toronto Raptors, the Spurs landed a 2024 first-round pick and a 2025 second-round pick. Rather than releasing Birch and having to eat his $6.9 million, the Spurs acquire draft capital for a player that wasn’t going to be a part of their plans in 2023-24.
In addition, the Spurs would be able to deal Devonte Graham in the deal, who is under contract through 2025 and is owed $12.1 million in 2023-24. Graham struggled in a reserve role in 2022-23, averaging 13 points on 38 percent shooting and 55.9 percent true shooting.
Graham played in just 20 games for the Spurs and doesn’t figure to be a part of the franchise’s long-term plans.
The Spurs have also been in asset acquisition mode, as they dealt Derrick White for Josh Richardson, Romeo Langford, and the pick that became Blake Wesley. The Spurs then flipped Richardson for Graham and a massive haul of second-round picks (four to be exact). They’d surely love to continue the trend and move Graham for two second-round picks.
If not for this deal, the Spurs will face real challenges getting rid of Graham, as they’d likely have to give up draft capital just to offload him. This deal is probably the best case scenario for the franchise.