Seems like the grind never stops. Starting Monday, we’ll be getting an early look at some of the younger Spurs, complete with the cavernous, squeaky acoustics of summer league.
Here’s the announced schedule of games for San Antonio:
July 3rd - Spurs vs Jazz 8pm CDT (NBATV)
July 5th - Spurs vs Celtics 6pm (NBATV)
July 6th - Spurs vs 76ers 6pm (NBATV)
July 8th - Spurs vs. Heat 7pm (ESPNU)
July 9th - Spurs vs. 76ers 9:30 pm (ESPN2)
July 11th - Spurs vs. Trailblazers 3pm (NBATV)
(Plus games to be announced for the Vegas playoffs.)
And here’s a look at the Spurs’ summer roster:
All eyes on Dejounte
This could be a big offseason for 20-year-old Dejounte Murray, who says he’s already put on five pounds of muscle and will be working out with Kawhi Leonard later this summer. Coming off a promising rookie year, summer league is a perfect time for Murray to go out, make mistakes, develop his leadership skills — and maybe even dominate like Kawhi did in his second summer league appearance. He should have no problem using his first step to blow by the lesser competition of SL, but it’ll be interesting to see how he runs the offense and whether his finishing has improved.
Davis Bertans, Summer League MVP
I’m here for this. Bertans played within a pretty well-defined role in his first season as a Spur, often deferring to his teammates, and he was solid. As a greater focus of the offense, and with range that can exploit the less-than-stellar defense you usually see in SL, the Latvian should be one of the more productive San Antonio players on the floor.
A first look at the rookies
2017 draftees Derrick White and Jaron Blossomgame will both be showing off their skills as they get a feel for the Spurs system. White will be expected to assume some playmaking duties, while it’ll be interesting to see how much Blossomgame fits the profile of an NBA-level 3-and-D.
Other interesting names on the roster
Bryn Forbes is still not guaranteed for 2017-18, and his performance could be worth keeping an eye on given the Spurs’ re-signing of Patty Mills and drafting of White. Summer league also marks a return to San Antonio for former first-round pick Livio Jean-Charles, who failed to make a good first impression in preseason last year. We’ll also get a look at 2015 second-round pick Cady Lalanne, as well as Olivier Hanlan whose name may not be familiar because he was acquired by the Spurs in the trade that sent Boris Diaw to Utah last year. Then there’s Cleanthony Early, a former Knicks draft pick who definitely has some game.
Where’s Adam Hanga?
Rumored to be headed to San Antonio next season, the name that was most noticeably absent from the Spurs’ summer league roster is Euroleague Defensive Player of the Year Adam Hanga. I haven’t seen any news as to what’s going on, and I’m also not too high on him as a prospect. For what it’s worth, Jabari Young had this to say about him:
He's not on the Utah roster. Could join them Vegas, but not sure— Jabari Young (@JabariJYoung) July 1, 2017
There will be another Ginobili present
Becky Hammon won’t be holding the clipboard this year, with assistant coach Will Hardy assuming head coaching duties in both Utah and Vegas. But the most interesting coaching note is probably Manu’s brother, Sebastian, who will be on the summer-league sidelines as an assistant coach. “Sepo” is the head coach of the Ginobilis’ hometown club Bahia Basket. He’ll be joined by Dejan Radonjic, the head coach of Serbian club Red State Belgrade. And I definitely didn’t (ahem) have to use Google to find that out.