The Spurs trading Luis Scola and Jackie Butler for what amounts to nothing is a bit puzzling. Scola, in particular, seems like a good player. Given his age, he lacks superstar potential but according to John Hollinger’s Euroleague formula, based on his translated stats he “projects as one of the few Euros who could start in the NBA immediately.” He’s mature, he has experience winning at the highest non-NBA levels of competition available, etc. He seems, in short, like an asset you wouldn’t just give away — to a rival team, no less.
That said, at this point “maybe RC Buford is a moron” doesn’t seem like an incredibly plausible scenario. What’s more, given that Manu Ginobili and Fabricio Oberto are on the team, it’s hardly as if the Spurs organization is driven by a pathological loathing of Argentinians. Nor do they seem like the kind of people inclined to arbitrarily discount accomplishments in the ACB or international competition. Indeed, the reverse seems to be the case. The Spurs would seem to be in a much better position to evaluate Scola than anyone else is. So what do they know? What do they think they know?