Each NBA season brings its share of questions and intrigues. It’s the same thing all the time, a few days before the recovery. Which player will perform? Which coach will be fired? Who am I ? In which shelf? Where squash? For each of the 30 franchises, we have selected the 5 big questions for the 2022-23 edition: the seat of the day is allocated to the San Antonio Spurs.
#1: How many victories for this team of table tennis players?
When we see the face of the workforce and the intentions of the management, we clearly feel that the objective will not be to hit 50% wins.
The Spurs, historically, once achieved a season with 20 wins for 62 losses: it was the tanking season which had allowed the draft of Tim Duncan. And before that? There was a record season with 21 wins for 61 defeats: it was the season preceding the arrival… of David Robinson, drafted two years earlier. So as much to tell you that we are on fairly historical bases, upstream of the campaign to come. Let’s not beat around the bush. Yes, there is a high probability that this season will be the worst in Spurs history. Numerically speaking, aesthetically speaking, sportingly speaking. But the direction seems clear, after spending quite a bit of time in the soft underbelly of the Western Conference. Young people, veterans to transfer, no real leader except Pop, the plunge to the depths of the ranking is announced while waiting to see the state of the troops at the end of the exercise.
A season between 15 and 20 wins is largely achievable.
If it’s less than 15, you’ll have to watch the history books very closely (all-time record, 9 wins).
#2: Which veterans will transfer to the Trade Deadline?
We were talking about it just now, the situation of Spurs is ideal to be a serious player in the next Trade Deadline.
At the beginning of next February, the NBA will be on fire to experience the transfer period. And while the San Antonio institution has been quiet for years at this time in the calendar, the same cannot be said in 2023. First man to watch, Jakob Poeltl. If he seems to like the Spurs, the pivot has a good rating, an excellent contract (9 million per season) and is on the radar of many teams. Will he leave in a few months and if so, in exchange for what? The management led by Brian Wright will have to be firm in the negotiations, just like with the files of Josh Richardson, Gorgui Dieng or Doug McDermott to name a few.
The first had an excellent end to the season with the Texas franchise, and his CV clearly indicates that teams will want to take advantage of his services, in the same way that Boston took advantage of Derrick White last season. Dieng and McDermott, less rated, will also be entitled to a few phone calls, but overall it is around the Spurs that the rumors will revolve. Because in addition to these frames? The worst contracts in the entire NBA will deserve to be thrown into the workforce of Gregg Popovich, the bank of San Antonio being the place to be to disembark by attaching some Draft pick to it. Assuming Poeltl and Richardson will struggle all season at Spurs, there will be movement until next February.
#3: Who will be the holders, and for how long?
Apart from Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell, whose talent and age make it obvious, who will start Spurs this year and for how long? As expressed just now, Poeltl and McDermott, holders last year, could wear another jersey during the season. And at the end? Difficult to find a position 1 level holder NBA in this gigantic Texas daycare.
Josh Primo, to be tested on the position of leader? If the young phenomenon has been empowered in Summer League on managerial tasks, it is not to decorate the AT&T Center. Full of scoring skills, Primo also has a vision of the game that is quite interesting to develop. But will Gregg Popovich rather want to trust Tre Jones, brother of Tyus, so an excellent distributor but with limited potential? This leadership position will create a lot of debate, because from Tony Parker to Patty Mills then Dejounte Murray, the drop in level will be hardcore.
Jeremy Sochan, on the bench until when? Maybe Pop will surprise everyone and throw Baylor’s product into the deep end on opening night, but it seems hard to believe. If we follow the logic of the coach and his history, there will be development of Sochan on the side with the possibility of seeing him shine in the second part of the season, when the tanking has been maneuvered wonderfully. Casually, we are talking about a Top 10 draft choice, so it is not the Spurs fans who will be silent if the management of the strong winger leaves them doubtful.
#4: Which ex-Spurs player will explode, coincidentally?
Lonnie Walker with the Lakers, Dejounte Murray with the Hawks, Jock Landale with the Suns… you know the classics. For years, a player who couldn’t break into the NBA would come to the Spurs, make a name for himself, and his next team couldn’t use him well. And beware of the reverse effect, with the players of San Antonio who move and hit hard in their new colors. Dejounte’s visit to the AT&T Center will create his share of applause, just like Lonnie Walker, but to see which of these two boys will take full advantage of his situation to flex a little with his agent. Casually, there are opportunities for them to seize so there will always be a chance for Spurs fans to smile as they dry their tears. And then anyway, as long as we smash the Rockets in a game, the season is successful.
#5: Will Spurs end up with the 1st pick of the 2023 Draft?
That’s the biggest question of the upcoming season in San Antonio. We talked about the game above, we talked about victories, but in reality we bump into it a bit in the wide angle of observation of things. What motivates Spurs, what keeps Brian Wright and his associates awake, is knowing what the franchise’s place will be in the 2023 Draft. It’s hard to find a more important date than the Lottery (next May, to be confirmed), because after all these efforts San Antonio will have to finish like in 1987 and like in 1997: with the photo of the 1st pick. The punchlines are already ready in the other franchises, if the tanking in place does not lead to this result. See you in a few months to see if fate continues to smile on Spurs.