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Published on May 29, 2024
San Antonio Spurs Open to Trade Talks for Forward Keldon Johnson Amidst Shifting StatsSource: Wikipedia/Keldon Johnson

The San Antonio Spurs have officially sent signals throughout the NBA galaxy that they're receptive to trade for powerhouse forward Keldon Johnson. This news spirals off of Brett Siegel's report for ClutchPoints, raising eyebrows among teams hunting to beef up their rosters. Johnson's trajectory took a nosedive this season, with stats slipping from a solid 22.0 down to 15.7 points per game following the rise of teammate Victor Wembanyama as the Spurs’ shining star.

A product of the University of Kentucky, Johnson has had a seesaw journey with the Spurs since being the 29th overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Last season he was consistent with 63 starting games, but this season his starts dropped to 27 out of 69 played, as reported by KSAT. With a lavish $74 million extension inked last year, the Spurs' forward is locked down for another three seasons — a compelling asset to any deal-seeking franchise.

Enter the Oklahoma City Thunder, who could potentially bedazzle their roster with Johnson's well-rounded abilities. Noting Johnson's commendable 35 percent from beyond the arc and his defensive agility, as Sports Illustrated conjectures that the 6-foot-5 wing could snap into the Thunder's scheme, albeit with a hefty price tag for a player who might slide into a sixth man role. The Thunder, ripe with trade pieces and draft picks, could see value in shuffling their lineup to accommodate Johnson's talents.

But Oklahoma City Thunder may prefer to roll the dice on a different archetype of player — one with more height and rebounding prowess to dovetail with their existing squad. Still, the Thunder are notorious for keeping their ears to the ground on opportunities, and a player with Johnson's 2022-23 season peak could be a tempting gamble. Confirming the chatter, Johnson earlier professed a team-first mindset during his season-ending presser back in April, underscoring his commitment irrespective of his role: "The move to the bench was tough," Johnson affirmed, "but I continued to do whatever it takes to put the team in the best situation to be successful."

The kaleidoscope of the NBA trade market is in perpetual motion, and with the Spurs’ willingness to field offers for Johnson, we're on the precipice of what promises to be an intriguing prelude to the off-season shake-ups. As the pieces on the board begin to twitch, basketball aficionados and dealmakers alike are all eyes on the Spurs’ next move.