A look forward to the 2021 Spurs season

 Let’s face it: 2020 wasn’t a fun year to be a Spurs fan. Hopes weren’t sky high going into the 2019/20 season, but the fact that the team missed the Playoffs and broke the 23-year postseason streak hurt fans. The writing was on the wall before a game was played in NBA’s Orlando bubble, even if the team did slightly improve in the final games.

Nonetheless, the 2020/21 season looms, and San Antonio fans are in the unfamiliar position of not having much confidence of reaching a postseason berth. That’s normal for fans of most NBA teams every few years, but many Spurs’ fans will only have known success in their lifetime. Still, there are some reasons to look forward to the new season and new year, which we set out below:

Smart, Logical Moves in the Offseason

Most of us were hoping that the Spurs’ front office would be aggressive in the offseason. By all accounts, there was an attempt to make some high-profile trades, but what we got was some low-key business. But as the dust settles, some of those moves seem pretty smart. Letting Marco Belinelli and Bryn Forbes go was the right thing to do given their struggles in defense. In a nutshell, the Spurs’ have re-signed key players, got rid of poor performers and made some nice draft picks (see below).

Devin Vassell and Tre Jones

The Spurs’ two draft picks seem the right fit for the franchise. Vassell, in particular, might see himself with plenty of game time this season. The new #24 for San Antonio will fill a hole in a team that has been looking for elite wing defense for a few years now. He might not be thrown into the deep end straight away, but you could really see Vassell become a key player by the end of the season. Tre Jones was a little bit more of a surprise pick given the Spurs’ have depth in the guard position, but he looks an able backup.

A Rebuilding Season Could Be Just What Is Needed

We are going to go out on a limb here and say that San Antonio won’t be winning the NBA Championship this year. The odds for the NBA 2020/21 season have the Spurs’ as high as 150/1 for the Championship – we are really talking miracle territory. At this stage, getting a playoff spot from an ultra-stacked Western Conference would be an achievement. While no team “needs” a losing season, it feels like a time for “Pop” and his team to recalibrate. There is an intriguing pool of young talent coming through the ranks, and it will be nice to see them blossom. But it will take time, and perhaps a little bit of patience from fans.

The Front Office Seems Ready to Take Risks

In light of the above, there is a sense that Popovich and his front office staff might take some risks. Sure, they did little in the offseason and the Spurs’ management has always had an “if it’s not broken, why fix it?” attitude over the last couple of decades. But we might see some more risky strategy applied in 2021, starting with trading DeMar DeRozan. Spurs’ could lose DeRozan to free agency next summer, so there are strong rumors of Spurs’ trying to cash in on DeRozan before the Trade Deadline. DeRozan’s departure could lead to a couple of future draft picks, but also let some of the younger players take center stage in the team.