Yep, it’s about that time. It’s time for the occasional biased post about my favorite team: The San Antonio Spurs. Sometimes my takes about my teams have some truth about them, other times it is just me getting ahead of myself. However, if you haven’t been paying attention, the Spurs are quietly playing well with one of the youngest cores in the NBA. Here is my biased take that has some truth behind it. The Spurs young core is the best in the NBA.
Not only does the Spurs have great young players, but they have a bunch of them. Sure, there are teams that have young players that are superstars like the Nuggets. They have Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray. Sure, some Nugget fans will say that’s not all they have. But this post isn’t about you so pipe down. I’m in love with the Spurs team right now. I urged the Spurs to embrace the rebuild and trade DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Let the young players take over and progress. We ended up keeping both of them. DeMar DeRozan is having a career year, so I can’t really be mad about that.
LaMarcus Aldridge is a different story. He’s washed. But, he is now coming off the bench, a role he isn’t quite used to yet. The rest of the Spurs team is something to admire though. The Spurs have 4 young players that can really be something for this team, possibly 8 if everything continues to progress as it is. With DeMar DeRozan and LMA contracts expiring this year, the Spurs could have 50 million in cap space to get another young player or spend it on a star if they really wanted to. (John Collins anyone?) Who are the 4 major pieces of the Spurs young core players you ask? Let me show you.
Let’s talk about the one that is currently leading all the young players in San Antonio right now: Dejounte Murray. Dejounte Murray is the 2nd leading scorer on the Spurs with 15.8 PPG on 45.4% shooting. He also averages 5.3 APG and 7.1 RPG. If he isn’t already, he is well on his way to being a top 10 PG in the NBA. His biggest improvement has been in his scoring, scoring 5 more points per game and 1 more assist and rebound than last year.
I haven’t got to brag that much about Derrick White this season due to injuries and other things. I really thought last year that Derrick White might have been the Spurs’ best player last season. So it’s slightly disappointing that he only played 8 games thus far. However, it seems he will finally be healthy and, in my eyes, be the 2nd best young player on the Spurs.
Keldon Johnson has been awesome this year. After the Orlando Bubble, you just felt like Keldon Johnson would be a huge part of the Spurs’ success and that is being proven so in 2021. Since Derrick White has been out, KJ has been indisputably the 2nd best young Spurs player. He gets the job done defensively and offensively for the Spurs and will be one of the key players for the Spurs moving forward. He currently averages 14.3 PPG on 47.1% shooting with 6.8 RPG. He’s the wing guy the Spurs have been missing since Kawhi left. He’s no Kawhi, but damn he gets the job done.
Lonnie Walker IV
I LOVE Lonnie Walker IV. He’s just a cool, smooth dude. I do miss his hair, it was wild and unique, but that didn’t change how good he was. With more opportunity this year, he has thrived as a young player. His primary role is to score on the Spurs and that’s something he has no problem doing that. Look for Lonnie (Sky)Walker to continue to progress and be one of the Spurs’ main scorers.
These 4 players, when they all play, average 50 PPG. Y’all might laugh at that, but these 4 play beautifully together for San Antonio. Other players that have a bright future but are not quite there yet are Devin Vassell, a rookie, Jakob Poeltl, Trey Lyles, and Luka Samanic. These 4 average about 20 points together. With all less than 24 minutes to play, most playing under 17 minutes. That’s not the worst production in the world for a team that was supposedly in a rebuild year. The best part is that doesn’t even include Vets like DDR, LMA or even Rudy Gay and Patty Mills.
Like I said, this is a biased post. The Spurs young core might not be the best in the NBA, but I think it’s close enough that not many people find this take too outrageous. There’s a reason why the Spurs are currently 5th in the Western Conference despite this being supposedly a down year. Some of that is credited to DeRozan, the rest of the credit goes to a bright young core in San Antonio. Keep sleeping on the Spurs and their young core, they might surprise you.