The San Antonio Spurs missed the playoffs for the first time in 22 years this past season. This is an unfamiliar place for the Spurs fans like myself. Yet, this is still exciting to watch. The Spurs have a great young core to build off of and are experimenting with it. So, let’s look at the Spurs preview for the 2021 NBA season.
Key Additions: Devin Vassell, Tre Jones
As usual, the Spurs were quiet during the offseason. Granted, they didn’t have a lot of salary cap, to begin with. Some have speculated (I speculated) that the Spurs would trade DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge for picks and other players. The Spurs didn’t do that and stood pat with them. My only thought is that they are letting them expire next year and using their cap space to go crazy in the 2021 stacked Free Agency class. For now, they drafted two players in the draft. Devin Vassell is the Spurs’ first lottery pick in a while. Tre Jones was considered a steal being drafted in the 2nd round. Devin Vassell is a typical 3 & D player that will fit the Spurs nicely.
Key Losses: Marco Belinelli, Bryn Forbes
The Spurs lost Marco Belinelli and Bryn Forbes this offseason. If you know me, you would know that I celebrated when this happened. Anyone that watched the Spurs realized that this only made the Spurs better. Addition by subtraction if you will. Marco Belinelli and Bryn Forbes are or were considered good shooters. Both mightily struggled this year for the Spurs. If they weren’t shooting well, they were defensive liabilities. The Spurs didn’t have either of these guys in the Orlando Bubble and looked way better.
San Antonio Spurs Depth Chart
- PG: Dejounte Murray, Patty Mills, Tre Jones
- SG: DeMar DeRozan, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV
- SF: Rudy Gay, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell
- PF: LaMarcus Aldridge, Trey Lyles, Luka Samanic
- C: Jakob Poeltl, Drew Eubanks, Tyler Zeller
Don’t look too far in the placement of each player. This is an extremely rough draft. With the Spurs having nothing to lose and having all this young talent, they will experiment heavily with many lineups to see what they like. I think the San Antonio Spurs go with a more experienced lineup for the starting lineup. DeMar, Gay, and LMA will lead the group for scoring but will have to find spacing with this lineup. DeMar and LMA HAVE to find shooting on the outside or this will not work.
If this doesn’t work, there is plenty of shooting or scoring on the bench they can sub in. Patty Mills can get points in a hurry and I would say he is the best shooter on the team now. I had Derrick White coming off the bench as a Manu Ginobili role. One of the best players coming off the bench for the Spurs will help the second unit. Keldon Johnson and Trey Lyles showed great poise at times and will try to make a jump in getting solid minutes this year. Don’t look too much into Lonnie Walker IV and Devin Vassell as part of the 3rd unit, they will receive plenty of chances and minutes to be a part of the team’s success. They were just behind the other great players on this Spurs team.
I think it’s basically set in stone that the Spurs will not make the playoffs this year. The bias in me says they have a chance, but doesn’t everyone? I think the Spurs can get close to a playoff berth, but no higher than 8th. The most important thing for the Spurs and even Spurs fans is the number of minutes the young group gets and their progression this year. I want to see the young core heavily involved in games whether we win or lose. The Spurs are on the outside looking in for a playoff spot, but that’s perfectly fine for the development of the young talent they have. The San Antonio Spurs should be about .500 with 36 wins+ and will be good for about 10th in the loaded Western Conference.