Wednesday , Mar , 12 , 2008 Oly Sandor

San Antonio Screw Up: Spurs Made Mistake Trading Luis Scola to Rival Houston Rockets

However, they’re not perfect and mistakes happen. Last summer, the Spurs dealt international superstar Luis Scola to the Rockets. Teams in the same conference often exchange assets. But cross-state rivals in the same division hook up for a trade about as frequently as David Stern and Mark Cuban sitting down for a friendly social …

San Antonio Screw Up: Spurs Made Mistake Trading Luis Scola to Rival Houston Rockets

The AM Take: The San Antonio Spurs are a model of excellence. They win NBA Titles, turn a tidy profit, and their players avoid trouble.

However, they’re not perfect and mistakes happen. Last summer, the Spurs dealt international superstar Luis Scola to the Rockets. Teams in the same conference often exchange assets. But cross-state rivals in the same division hook up for a trade about as frequently as David Stern and Mark Cuban sitting down for a friendly social.

Division rivals typically avoid trading with each other to limit risk. For example, Scola has solidified the four-spot for the red-hot Rockets, helping Houston rattle off nineteen straight wins.

San Antonio’s junk is clearly Houston’s treasure. And the Argentine forward could help the surprising Rockets win the first overall seed in the Western Conference and challenge the Spurs in a seven game playoff series.

Why would the defending champions trade a talent like Scola? And why would they trade him to their Texas rival, the Rockets?

A lack of minutes and cap space forced the Spurs to move Scola. Coach Gregg Popovich felt there weren’t enough opportunities in his front-court to keep the forward happy. Also, signing Scola and paying his buyout fee would be expensive for the cap-conscious club.

San Antonio employed a different philosophy when trading Scola. Once they made the decision to move him, they focused only on getting back the best compensation possible. Where those assets came from didn’t matter.

While I understand why San Antonio traded Scola, it doesn’t excuse helping a rival like Houston. Like I said, even the great Spurs make mistakes. Of course, this mistake could be costly come playoff time.

Did the Spurs screw up trading Scola to Houston? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts and subscribe to Oly Sandor’s NBA blog.

The AM Take is Oly’s morning thoughts on the NBA appearing Sunday through Friday on HoopsVibe NBA Blog. Errors can be attributed to the time and his need for another coffee. (image appears courtesy of flickr.com)