The California Class Summer League in Sacramento may have gone on without the introduction of Victor Wembanyama, but it left the door wide open for other members of the summer squad to make an impression.
One thought was stirring during the Spurs second appearance on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Lakers — this could be what the second string looks like sometime next season.
Is it safe to assume that the starting line-up would include Wembanyama, Tre Jones, Jeremy Sochan, Keldon Johnson, and Devin Vassell?
There is plenty of options coming off the bench including returning players like Charles Bassey, Sandro Mamukelashvili, Zach Collins, and Doug McDermott.
There are also new acquisitions in Lamar Stevens, Reggie Bullock, and Cedi Osman.
But the combination of Julian Champagnie, Malaki Branham, Blake Wesley, Dominick Marlow, and Sidy Cissoko show signs of what could develop as the season moves forward.
As a unit, they are raw, but have the synchronicity to evolve as one, which could make them invaluable as the season wears on.
The Spurs must have some strong feelings regarding Champagnie as he was awarded a 4-year contract. Either the Spurs believe in his longevity with the team or know he will be valuable as a trade piece down the line.
One strength of the Spurs 2014 championship was having a great bench. While the starting unit of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Tiago Splitter, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green often got outscored at the beginnings of games by their counterparts, the bench of Manu Ginobili, Patty Mills, Boris Diaw, Marco Belinelli, Matt Bonner, Aron Baynes, and Cory Joseph elevated the Spurs past the competition, proving the value of a bench as opposed to putting in guys to rest superstars.
While it early to make mountains out of molehills, it is never too early to enjoy watching the young players shine.
Outside of Webmanyama, who are you watching as the summer extravaganza begins in Sin City?
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