The San Antonio Spurs were among the many weakest teams within the NBA last season. Looking ahead, they could possibly be preparing for so much more defeats this yr.
It’s, in any case, looking like a tanking campaign for them.
It might not be the primary time, though. Recall that the Spurs chosen Tim Duncan first overall in 1997. That was one season after the one time the Spurs finished with fewer than 30 wins. Experts feel the Spurs are going to do it again as they aim Victor Wembanyama in 2023.
5 Silver and black linings to Spurs’ first tank season since ’96
Our data helps Dylan showcase the abilities of intriguing players the Spurs can enjoy through the team’s upcoming tanking season.https://t.co/sg1InBKUaO
— BBall Index (@The_BBall_Index) August 5, 2022
In fact, the Spurs are still coached by Gregg Popovich. As such, they’re unlikely to purposefully lose games to be able to have a 25% likelihood of gaining the primary pick in next yr’s draft. Popovich is one of the decorated coaches within the NBA’s history, and tanking just isn’t his style.
But even when the Spurs don’t wish to tank, they could still find yourself among the many worst teams within the league for 2022-23. In plenty of early preseason power rankings, the Spurs have been routinely placed dead last at No. 30 or very near that spot. They simply should not have the depth to compete at a consistently high level, especially within the loaded Western Conference.
That’s to not say they’ve absolutely zero talent. Next season, the Spurs can have Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell leading the best way. Johnson and Vassell are two promising players who’ve shown significant progress since being drafted. Nearly as good as they’re, though, the team’s collective inexperience will probably be too big of a hurdle to beat.
The Spurs’ place at or near the underside of power rankings will likely proceed throughout the whole season. As well as, listed here are other predictions for Spurs fans to think about.
Spurs 2022-23 Predictions
3) Keldon Johnson will probably be a fantasy stud
Observers feel that Jeremy Sochan will probably be amongst the long run cornerstones of the franchise, but no one should look past Keldon Johnson as well. Johnson, in any case, just signed a four-year, $80 million rookie scale contract extension with the team. That’s a robust vote of confidence in Johnson, despite how he’s routinely outsized within the paint against much greater frontliners.
In the long term, he should slide right into a small forward role. His skill-set actually makes him a potentially effective combo wing, and he ought to be productive when playing alongside two traditional bigs since they’ll provide stronger defensive rim protection and more rebounding on each ends.
As for this coming season, nevertheless, Pop will most actually start Johnson as a 4. That’s until the team is comfortable enough to have Sochan playing PF.
Last season, Johnson averaged 17.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and a couple of.1 assists per game. Those were all career-highs. His trajectory continues to trend upward, and there’s no reason that can get snapped this coming season. A projected increase in touches and workload means Johnson could put up borderline double-double numbers in 2022-23.
Since 2000, here’s an inventory of all of the Spurs’ first round draft picks that earned a second contract from the club:
Tony Parker 🇫🇷
Tiago Splitter 🇧🇷
Dejounte Murray 🌟
Derrick White 🦬
Keldon Johnson 🐎
Let’s hope a few of our young guys can add to this list 😤 pic.twitter.com/W0tLQ794aH
— Spurs_Muse (@spurs_muse) August 3, 2022
2) The Spurs will finish dead last
The truth is the Spurs haven’t improved after the 2022 NBA Draft and throughout the 2022 offseason. That’s mainly due to trading away Dejounte Murray, but it surely’s also by design.
Again, the Spurs have had trouble finding the subsequent franchise player ever since Kawhi Leonard was traded. Some felt Murray had the possibility to be that guy, but it surely’s crystal clear that the team desired to go one other direction. They’ve gone all-in on their youth movement and rebuilding process.
As such, their fans should anticipate a dead-last finish from their beloved Spurs this season. it’s what it’s. A play-in spot is very unlikely, and a playoff berth is completely out of the query.
Finish last. Get the highest overall pick in 2023. Draft Victor Wembanyama. That’s it. Those comprise the three-step set of objectives for this team moving forward.
1) Gregg Popovich will retire by season’s end
The San Antonio Spurs hope to retain their talismanic head coach for one last season. Some felt he might retire after last yr’s dismal finish, but he’s back for yet another go-around.
After spending much of the previous 22 seasons with playoff teams, Popovich experienced just his third season without making it to the postseason. That’s surely not the best way he desires to go, but given the Spurs’ lack of depth and their future plans, Pop might haven’t any selection anymore.
Popovich doesn’t really have anything left to prove anyway. He already surpassed Don Nelson for the best number of standard season wins of any NBA coach (1,344 wins). As well as, he already has five NBA titles, three NBA COTY awards, and an Olympic gold medal with Team USA.
He should and can retire by the tip of the 2022-23 season.