This won’t be the first time Spurs fans have heard this, but when it comes from one of the most respected NBA media voices, it’s worth repeating. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Victor Wembanyama will start his NBA career at power forward, with Zach Collins starting at center.
“Wembanyama’s a player that’s going to have generational ability in the league. Expect him to play power forward, the four position, to start off his NBA career, and the Spurs will look for Zach Collins to be a guy to provide size next to Victor Wembanyama in the front court.”
This has generally been the expectation for most Spurs fans, who heard Gregg Popovich say that Collins will be the starting center next season (even though that was before they had won the draft lottery) and who see that Wemby will need to strengthen his frame more before he’s ready to bang with NBA centers on a regular basis, but it might be news to many outside of the Spurs’ orbit. You can look at almost any depth chart or starting lineup prediction for next season, and it features Wemby at center.
Of course, assuming Wemby and Collins starting together does in fact come to fruition, it again begs the question, who among the Spurs’ four full-time starters from last season will be moved to a bench role? It will all come down to what the Spurs want, and it might even take some in-season experimentation to see what works. Devin Vassell’s job might be the safest since he is the best shooter of the bunch. If they want a true point guard running the show, Tre Jones’ job is safe. Keldon Johnson is the leader and captain of the team but has also expressed a willingness to be a sixth man if it helps his team win, and Jeremy Sochan might be the best defender and most flexible of the group in terms of being able to play multiple positions, but at least based on last season, he’s the closest to an offensive liability.
We may not get the answer to this question until the preseason or maybe even opening night, when the Spurs take on the Dallas Mavericks at home on October 25, but it has been a question all summer and will remain one for at least another month, so that means it’s poll time!
Assuming Wemby and Collins start, who is the odd man out on opening night?