Could you imagine what Stanley Johnson would be like on the San Antonio Spurs?
Sure, his jumper is whack (31.3 percent on threes), but he’s a workaholic on defense and developing nicely as a playmaker. Plus, everyone shoots better from three in San Antonio.
Apparently the Spurs were thinking along the same lines this past November, when they tried to trade for the second-year wing, according to ESPN.com’s Zach Lowe:
Several teams, including San Antonio, tried to steal Johnson on the cheap after Van Gundy, in late November, suspended Johnson and questioned his practice habits, per league sources.
Any offer the Spurs put forth was probably built, I imagine, around Kyle Anderson and maybe Jonathon Simmons. Kudos, though, to the Pistons for holding out, because they’re going to need Johnson as they make decisions on their current roster.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is about to get a max deal this summer, and the Pistons, as Lowe also notes, may have to consider breaking up their core to keep the payroll reasonable. At the very least, they need cheap talent to fill out the roster. Anderson would have been extension-eligible this summer, and Simmons is slated for restricted free agency. Stanley Johnson has two years left on his rookie-scale deal and owns a higher ceiling than either of them.
Still, ya can’t blame the Spurs, and whoever else joined them, for trying.