The San Antonio Spurs have been reported to be in talks with a pair of teams in the top 10 of the 2011 NBA Draft about a trade that would send three-time All-Star and 2007 Finals MVP Tony Parker out of the Alamo City. The trade would involve the Spurs taking either the No. 5 or No. 7 pick in Thursday's draft, as reported by Yahoo! Sports, which begs the question: who is San Antonio after?
The answer could be Jonas Valanciunas, the Lithuanian center whose buyout will reportedly prevent him from joining the NBA for the 2011-12 season. The Spurs famously need help in the frontcourt, especially with Tim Duncan's career as an effective big man winding down. Tiago Splitter, the team's last major international pick, disappointed as a rookie and doesn't seem to have the trust of coach Gregg Popovich. Valanciunas is more a true pivot than Splitter, and while he has plenty of work to do, he's considered a player with legit star potential down the road.
Giving up Parker, even at this stage in the Spurs' championship cycle -- which, of course, Parker himself considers over -- is a big blow. The Spurs have to really, really like someone to pull the trigger. If it's Valanciunas, the big Lithuanian stock should be skyrocketing any second now.
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