If the Spurs held their own skills challenge, who do you think would win?
Marilyn Dubinski: On his own, clearly Dejounte Murray (although if he were still on the team maybe Derrick White could give him a run for his money). When going with the current three-player team format, I’d have Devin Vassell and maybe Lonnie Walker join him. Walker’s open court speed would be especially helpful in the relay challenge. (And would it be cheating to insert Jakob Poeltl for the half-court shot challenge?)
Mark Barrington: Dejounte, for sure. He has the most well-rounded skill set of any of the people currently on the Spurs roster, but Tre Jones might be there in a couple of years.
Bruno Passos: I think Dejounte Murray wins this one most times out of 10, but there are at least a few simulations where he wildly bounces it off his foot and loses to someone like Tre Jones or Josh Primo. On sheer speed and gumption, though, and sort of by default, this is DJ’s to lose.
Jesus Gomez: Lonnie Walker IV could actually win this. He would have to go on one of his trances in which everything goes well for a few minutes, but he has the speed, shooting ability and passing skills to take down Dejounte Murray, who’d be the favorite.
J.R. Wilco: I’m with Jesus here for sure in Mark’s 10th out of 10 scenario, (assuming Walker was in Houston-comeback-form) it’s Lonnie going away.
If the Spurs held their own three-point shooting contest, who do you think would win?
Dubinski: I’d have to go with Doug McDermott. Keldon Johnson has been right up there with him in terms of shooting percentage most of the season, but McBuckets is a more seasoned, proven shooter with a more pure stroke at this stage of his career. KJ could easily come in with the upset, but if I had to bet money I’d trust it on McDermott.
Barrington: I’d put money on Keldon, but Doug McDermott has a quick release and could probably handle the assembly line approach you need to get up 27 shots in 60 seconds, while negotiating the motion between racks. Devin Vassell would have a shot, but he runs hot and cold, so he would have to get on a real hot streak.
Passos: As hot as he’s been this season, Keldon Johnson isn’t getting these shots off at a quick enough clip to finish and Lonnie Walker is nowhere near predictable enough to bet on, so give me who I presume would be the odds-on favorite in Doug McDermott. If H-O-R-S-E was still a thing, I’d also be taking Doug there.
Gomez: McDermott is the safe bet here. Lonnie and Primo could get hot, and Keldon Johnson could potentially make up for the lack of quickness on his release with accuracy, but it’s just hard to bet against a three-point shooting specialist with a proven track record.
Wilco: Everyone is going with McBuckets, and I can’t fault them. His shot is so pure, repeatable and accurate. But I’d love to see the battle for second between KJ, Vassell, and Primo.
If the Spurs held their own dunk contest, who do you think would win?
Dubinski: Definitely Lonnie Walker. He has the most raw athletic talent of any player on the team, with the best hops and most soaring ability. He also has the handles to do some fancy dunks, maneuver the ball in the air, and cock it back first. Players like Murray, Poeltl and Johnson can give you a good slam every now and then, but nothing fancy.
Barrington: Lonnie Walker IV all day long. He has the most athleticism and creativity of any player in Silver and Black, even though it doesn’t always translate into production on the court. Nobody else on the roster is at his level, which is way above the rim.
Passos: Johnson’s more of an in-game dunker but I feel like he could get a 10 or two through sheer personality and the use of a prop or two. That said, the smart money’s on Walker, whose balletic layups deserve their own mix tapes and who would probably look at home in the actual event this weekend.
Gomez: This would probably be the most interesting event of all, because the Spurs don’t really have a great dunker. Their best is probably Walker, who has incredible hops, but his in-game dunks are similar to LeBron James’ in that they are more violent than graceful. It’s definitely possible the hypothetical judges would be more impressed with Keldon’s personality than Lonnie’s sheer athleticism, so an upset isn’t out of the question. I’d still go with Walker, but it would probably be closer than it seems.
Wilco: Walker is as obvious choice here as Dougie is for the 3-point contest. The sheer height he’s capable of means he has time and room to get as creative as necessary — and it’s creativity that wins dunk contests. I don’t care how uninventive his dunks are during games, he’d have something to show us if style points would net him a win.