The G League regular season set to begin on February 10 in the Orlando Bubble, the San Antonio Spurs have assigned second-year forward Luka Samanic to their G-League affiliate in
Austin Orlando. Per the Spurs official press release:
The San Antonio Spurs today announced that they have assigned forward Luka Samanic to the Austin Spurs. Samanic joins Austin in Orlando as they prepare to tip off the 2021 NBA G League season at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
Samanic has appeared in four games this season for San Antonio, averaging 1.8 points in 2.8 minutes. Last season in his rookie year, Samanic appeared in 33 games with the Austin Spurs, averaging 15.2 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.8 assists. A native of Croatia, Samanic was originally selected by San Antonio in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft (19th overall).
The Austin Spurs start training camp in Orlando on Sunday, Jan. 31 before opening the season on Wed., Feb. 10 at 10:30 a.m. CT against the Memphis Hustle.
If it hasn’t happened already, he will soon be joined by two-way Spurs Quinndary Weatherspoon and Kieta Bates-Diop. It also wouldn’t be surprising if 2020’s second round pick Tre Jones eventually joins them.
However, one player who may be immune to being assigned to the G League is rookie Devin Vassell. While it remains to be seen what will happen to his playing time when Derrick White returns this weekend — his only DNP this season came in the one game White has played — it’s hard to imagine Vassell hasn’t earned a permanent spot in the rotation, even if his 18 mpg goes down. If Vassell does manage to avoid assignment, he will be the first Spurs rookie to do so since Kawhi Leonard, which leads to . . .
Random Spurs Fact of the Day! Kawhi actually got assigned to Austin for one day during his second year for practice purposes after missing 18 games with a knee injury, but he never actually played a game for the Austin Spurs, and he never got assigned to Austin as a rookie. To find the last player drafted and signed by the Spurs who never once got assigned to the G League while under contract with them, you have to go all the way back to DeJuan Blair. Ironically, he was drafted by the Austin Spurs in the 2018 NBA G League Draft and appeared in 23 games during the 2018-19 season. If you truly want to find the last player who was drafted by the Spurs and played for them without ever going to Austin at all, you have to go back one more year to George Hill.