Every day, Pick and Popovich will post one fake trade and explain why it makes sense for every team involved to make it. There are no parameters beyond fitting within the salary cap. Sometimes the trades will involve stars, others role players. They are not grounded in actual rumors, they just make sense on paper.
Miami Heat Receive: San Antonio Spurs Receive:
Rasual Butler Hassan Whiteside
Spurs’ 2017 1st Round Pick
Why Miami Would Make This Trade: Miami doesn’t seem too interested in bringing Whiteside back next year. Without his bird rights they’d have to dip into cap space to bring him back, and with Pat Riley’s lofty free agent goals Miami seems more likely to target stars. Getting a first round pick, even a late one, for a rental is something of a coup nowadays. The Heat tend not to be too interested in drafting, but they can use that pick as trade bait for someone else.
Why San Antonio Would Make This Trade: Even if Tim Duncan’s knee injury doesn’t nag the Spurs could still use another big man who can block shots. Though his minutes and usage would decline, Whiteside would likely be on his best behavior with free agency looming. Players who succeed with the Spurs tend to cash in big time. The idea of an all-defense lineup of Jonathan Simmons, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, Duncan and Whiteside to hold leads is tantalizing, and who knows, maybe the Spurs use the rest of this season as a trial run to see if Whiteside can be their Duncan replacement going forward.