PG - Dejounte Murray
SG - Lonnie Walker IV
SF - Keldon Johnson
PF - Thadeus Young
CE - Jakob Poeltl
PG - Derrick White
SG - Devin Vassell
SF - Doug McDermott
PF - Jock Landale
CE - Zack Collins
PG - Tre Jones
SG - Josh Primo
SG - Brynn Forbes
PF - Luka Samanic
CE - Drew Eubanks
Probably Traded for Future Assets or Outright Released
Justifications: At his best, Walker is arguably our best offensive option. His growth was just stifled by the presence of the high usage DeRozan in the past years. White may also have a case, but it'd be best for the team if he's the first to come off the bench, being a combo guard who can either replace dejounte at PG or Walker at SG. Think of Manu's role in those glory days. This is not a demotion. He'd probably finish the game on most nights and partner with Dejounte at the backcourt on several ocassions during the game.
Although we know that Keldon can ably play the 4 spot, as he did brilliantly last season, I still believe he'd be a lot more potent at his natural position at SF. He'd be a matchup nightmare to smaller wings in this small ball era.
Young, if he ever ends up with the Spurs, is a poor man's Boris Diaw. He is very skillful and has decent size and a very good defender at that. He'll provide veteran presence for the starters and his relatively low usage rate makes it even better for our young guns to spread their wings when he's on the court.
There's no denying Poeltl proved last year that he belongs. I hope he improves his free throw shooting over the summer so teams can't get him off the floor by doing a hack-a-Poeltl. He's like a poor man's Tim Duncan in my opinion... a very poor man at that, if you know what I mean. But his interior defense and rim protection is really what makes him so valualble for the Spurs. One thing he does so well that rarely gets attention is that he sets screens so well for our ball handlers.
I saw glimpses of Vassell during the summer league. He's developed quite a bit, but I think he'll be more productive alongside a great playmaker in White. Given that McDermott will also come off the bench alongside Jock Landale and possibly Collins, when healthy, White can have a lot of room to operate, as he will be surrounded by shooters, not to mention him being a great shooter himself. White and Vassell will also be a pest on the defensive end for the opposing backcourt, which is essential for the bench.
I'd like Primo and Weiskamp to play all season at the G-league, where they can have a lot of minutes and improve on their skills. I have little information about the progress of Samanic, but he could join them there, too if his development has stalled. Tre Jones, on the other hand, has proven that he belongs as probably the 3rd PG behind Dejounte and White.
Forbes will be our designated plug in shooter. I don't think Pop is going to give him as much minutes as he did during his last run with the Spurs. He's basically there for insurance purposes. If any, his addition may have been a clear indication that we are headed in the small ball direction. Eubanks is an able big man, but I think his size is best suited at the PF spot. If he so develops his outside shooting, he'd be a better version of the Red Rocket because he defends well and is much more athletic on the offensive end.
Lastly, I really don't share the opinion of most that we're going to be tanking this season. I personally believe that when healthy, we are much more better equipped and much more balanced as a team this season than we were last year. How could you guys ever forget that the core of this lineup, when DeRozan was resting, blowed by complete lineups of both last year's finalists Bucks and Suns in the regular season?
We have the firepower and the tools. I've never been as excited as I am right now about the Spurs in recent memory. Yes, the other teams have overhauled their lineups and plugged in 'stars' that make them look good on paper. The Spurs, on the other hand, are basically just replacing old parts with better ones... better for the team, as a whole, that is. Team chemistry and balance are two underrated aspects of the game. The departure of DeRozan, Mills, and Gay may have meant a loss of their combined production, but let's not forget it also means a gain in the production of our young guns. It will be a clear case of addition by subtraction.
With all that being said, I have little doubt that we will definitely make the playoffs and surprise the league, just as the Suns did last season. We are basically built as they were as a team. Don't you see the similarities? As usual, the Spurs are once again flying under the radar. Go Spus Go!