Things are looking up in San Antonio. The Spurs went into a full-fledged youth movement last season after trading their two best players, and even before that they were starting to compile draft picks and young assets to start building around. It has paid off, as not only did they win the sweepstakes for top overall pick Victor Wembanyama, but the rest of the young roster has shown plenty of promise for the future as well.
Dan Favale of Bleacher Report recently compiled a list of the best young NBA cores, with the cutoff date for consideration being 23-years-old, so even though that excludes Keldon Johnson from the equation, the Spurs still came out on top, and for more reasons than just Wemby. Here’s what he had to say:
Notable Players Entering Age-23-or-Younger Season: Charles Bassey (22), Malaki Branham (20), Julian Champagnie (22), Jeremy Sochan (20), Devin Vassell (22), Victor Wembanyama (19), Blake Wesley (20)
To every single person
fartingout some variation of “Wembanyama is overrated/not good/looks like a bust-in-the-making” takes, and sincerely meaning them, following his NBA Summer League debut: With all (un)due respect, please sit down and shut up.
One-game exhibitions are telltale of, approximately, absolutely nothing. Wemby still looks the part of not just a star, not just a megastar, but a generational talent, a hybrid meld of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Kevin Durant and Evan Mobley and more, fated to establish himself as a face of the league sooner rather than later.
The tools are there. The IQ is there. The coordination is there. The understanding will come in time. Utter dominance will follow.
Mind you, this isn’t just about San Antonio’s iconic prospect. Vassell has expanded his on-ball chops each year, successfully mirroring both a plug-and-play complement and independent two-way force. If Sochan’s jumper progresses, he will be in the same boat—with more point guard chops and greater defensive oomph.
Don’t sleep on Branham, a bona fide scorer who shot 59.5 percent on runners and floaters (44-of-74) as a rookie. Wesley is raw but caps-lock FAST. Champagnie is more than a basketball-nerd novelty. He’s a real three-and-D prospect with size and some on-ball pizzazz. This Spurs core is going places—potentially, if not likely, at warp speed.
What do you think, Spurs fans? Do the Spurs have the best young core? Even if they didn’t have Wemby, where would rank you them when considering players like Vassell, Sochan, etc? Feel free to discuss that or any other topic in the comments below!
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