NEW YORK – Go ahead and add Tony Parker‘s name to the growing list of veteran stars being rumored to be on the trading block.
Never mind that Parker recently professed his eternal love for the organization, Tim Duncan, Gregg Popovich and all things Spurs (check the video above). The Spurs haven’t even dignified the rumor, first reported by Yahoo! Sports, with a response.
But as we’ve learned, where the 2011 (or any other) Draft is concerned, basically nothing and no one is sacred. Parker’s name has been mentioned previously, but this latest chatter is particularly intriguing because of the teams rumored to be involved. More from the Express-News:
Yahoo! reports that the Spurs have talked to Toronto, which is picking fifth, and Sacramento, which is picking seventh, about their first-round draft picks.
Parker, who turned 29 last month, is considered to be the most marketable of the Spurs’ “Big Three” because of his age and potential replacements at the position in George Hill and Gary Neal.
But still, it’s a shocker the Spurs would want to trade into the upper part of what most observers believe is a shallow, weak pool of talent.
Kyrie Irving of Duke is considered the overwhelming choice for the No. 1 pick. Most talent analysts believe he will struggle to reach the level of Parker, who averaged 17.5 points, 6.6 assists and led the Spurs in minutes played last season.
League sources also said the Spurs are shopping Hill for a potential pick at the back end of the lottery as well.
Yahoo! reporter Adrian Wojnarowski also reports that Sacramento forward Omri Casspi could be a part of a Spurs deal with the Kings. Casspi, a 6-foot-9 small forward from Israel who averaged 8.6 points and 4.3 rebounds last year with the Kings, has been a personal favorite of Spurs general manager R.C. Buford.
The Kings appear most interested in getting a point guard. If they can’t get Parker, Yahoo! reports they are interested in Denver guard Raymond Felton.
In a league being dominated by point guard play, it seems strange to us that Spurs would contemplate moving one of the best in the league (yes, Parker is still in the top-tier) for whatever unproven commodity they would acquire with a high Lottery pick.
Even with the way the Spurs finished the season, the idea of them tearing up the fabric of their team for some sort of package from this draft just seems like a peculiar way to go about contending again next season.