If their main goal is cap flexibility (which they already have in abundance) why wouldn’t Tristan and Jabari be just as good? The Celtics would need to add future draft value to make that work (or swap Jabari for one of our young players with value), but if the Spurs are mainly looking for future cap flexibility than they shouldn’t value a year of Smart very highly so the difference would be fairly small.Their roster is in the midst of a complete overhaul. I’m not sure what we know they will need but as I mentioned earlier a big part of the value could be in freeing up cap space for next summer as well as having it for this summer. Being locked into 3 more years of Murray and White is what I’m thinking they may want to move away from by draft night.
I think Smart for Murray is an interesting idea in that we’d be trading for future contract certainty and probably a bit of upside but are getting a similar caliber of player back, with similar flaws, but it doesn’t make sense for Boston if we have to add real assets to the picture. At that point, better to just keep and pay Smart what he costs in a year, which may be more than Murray but probably not that much more. And it doesn’t make sense for the Spurs if Smart is the main piece and you are right that their goal is cap flexibility because why wouldn’t they prefer to just dump him for an expiring and draft picks (a deal we and many other teams could offer).
I’d also note that the Spurs don’t really need to move anything this year. They are likely to do what the Heat did last year and overpay 1+1 deals to preserve space and give them options going into next offseason. If they need to dump Murray or White next year to sign two max contracts (assuming they can successfully recruit them), that won’t be hard since neither are bad contracts.