4 Former San Antonio Spurs who were traded too early

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San Antonio Spurs

SAN ANTONIO, TX – JANUARY 3: DeMar DeRozan #10 of the San Antonio Spurs greets Kawhi Leonard #2 of the Toronto Raptors at the end of the game at AT&T Center on January 3, 2019 in San Antonio, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Cortes/Getty Images)

These four former San Antonio Spurs were all traded away too early

As far as NBA front offices go, the San Antonio Spurs executives have done a better job than most over the past 20 years in terms of shaping their roster. They’ve gotten lucky with a few drafts picks but have also made key moves that brought in undervalued players who then grew into significant roles with the team, helping them go on a historic run of playoff appearances as a result.

That said, the team’s history isn’t totally spotless. There are instances of trading away a player away only to see them blossom and thrive with their new teams. These cases bring up a mixed bag of feelings. On one hand, you’ve got to be happy to see a former Spur excelling with his new team, especially if they weren’t being properly utilized in San Antonio. On the other hand, there’s a little bit of resentment or wistfulness that they would have been able to thrive in a Spurs uniform.

As the team nears their return to play down in Orlando they find themselves at a crossroads. They’re one playoff appearance from setting a new NBA record for most consecutive postseason berths but also several games back of the 8th and 9th seeds and will be going into the bubble without star big man LaMarcus Aldridge. They’ve got a hungry group of youngsters to build around too. Maybe it’s time to let the streak go and rebuild around their youth.

Going towards a full rebuild could call for trading off proven veterans like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldrdige in exchange for young players or picks. But as we’ve seen, making franchise-altering trades can be a double-edged sword.

It might seem like the right move at the time but could come back to bite the team later. Here are a few instances of when the Spurs moved on from a player too early.

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