Surely, Tim Duncan won’t be easy to replace. But the San Antonio Spurs are already hypothesizing over a future front court pairing of Al Horford and LaMarcus Aldridge, according to latest NBA trade rumors.
Horford fits all the criterion of the model Spurs player. A coach’s dream, the big Dominican is soft-spoken, humble and team-oriented. Also, Horford has thrived under Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer – who is a protégé of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Therefore, the transition would be seamless.
Recently, Charles Barkley went on to the Bill Simmons podcast and controversially concluded that “Tim Duncan is done.” Barkley could be right but advanced stats don’t comply with the hall-of-famer. Duncan is still one of the elite rim protectors in the league.
Having said that, Spurs are wise to think about the future. According to several reports, Hawks are considering all trade offers for Horford ahead of the February 18 deadline. Of course, Hawks cannot be blamed for moving their All-Star center since Horford is an unrestricted free agent later this summer. By striking a deal with the Spurs, the Hawks can secure a valuable asset or two.
Danny Green to Hawks?
There is one hypothetical trade that makes a ton of sense. Spurs’ two guard, Danny Green, is having a forgettable season after signing a $40 million contract over the summer. With the emergence of Jonathan Simmons and Kyle Anderson, the Spurs have enough depth at the wing to forego Green.
A direct swap between Green and Horford has the approval of ESPN’s Trade Machine. Hawks get a solid 3-and-d player who can serve them for another three years. And Spurs acquire Tim Duncan’s long-term successor.
Coach Bud can help his teacher…
Mind you, Mike Budenholzer is also President of Basketball Operations for the Hawks. Therefore, he has all the power needed to deal directly with Popovich and make this deal happen. Budenholzer spent 18 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, serving as a video coordinator for the first two seasons and then as an assistant coach under Popovich.
Stay tuned for latest NBA trade rumors.