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Choose your own adventure: What if the Spurs move up for a pick late in the first round?

San Antonio has two solid second-round picks this season, and if they package them together they may be able to trade up for another first-round pick.

SAN ANTONIO — Disclaimer: This is one option for the San Antonio Spurs as they build the roster around Victor Wembanyama. Everything here is a hypothetical course of action the Spurs could consider. For the start of the full choose your own adventure game, click here.

You have decided to trade picks at 33 and 44 in the 2023 NBA Draft to move up into the late first round.

Analysis: We have a trade to announce! 

You've consolidated some of your least consequential draft picks to grab another rookie that you like. It's a low-stakes swing on a player who you don't expect to contribute right away, but could become a factor later on. 

A target there could be Bilal Coulibaly, a long and athletic wing who was one of Wemby's teammates in France this year. Maybe you really like a big man like Dereck Lively or James Nnaji. Maybe Kobe Bufkin or somebody else falls, maybe you're intrigued by the potential of Rayan Rupert.

San Antonio has a history of finding diamonds in the rough late in the first round. In the past 10 years they've grabbed Kyle Anderson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson, Malaki Branham, and Blake Wesley outside of the lottery.

There are three open roster spots after signing Wembanyama and whoever you took in the late first round, plus a pair of two-way slots that belonged to Julian Champagnie and Dominick Barlow last season.

  • PG: Devonte' Graham, Blake Wesley
  • SG: Devin Vassell, Malaki Branham
  • SF: Keldon Johnson, Doug McDermott
  • PF: Victor Wembanyama, Jeremy Sochan
  • C: Zach Collins, Charles Bassey, Khem Birch
  • Your rookie
  • Cap holds: Tre Jones, Keita Bates-Diop, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Romeo Langford, Dominick Barlow, Julian Champagnie

You add a piece with potential to the young core, but the expectation for immediate production is low. Wisely, you've maintained the flexibility to address that in the short and long term. Do you bring back Tre Jones? What about extending Devin Vassell? Will you use your trade assets to go after a star or veteran depth?

Bringing Tre Jones back seems like a no-brainer unless you spend significant cap space on a point guard like Fred VanVleet or D'Angelo Russell. Maybe you offer a decent-sized bag to a guy like Jordan Clarkson or Austin Reaves or Brook Lopez. 

Maybe you make smaller moves to fill out the roster and hold on to that flexibility until you have more clarity on how your pieces fit, and a better opportunity to get a good deal for what you need.

To start over, click here.

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