New League Year, New Austin Spurs….Maybe

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Luka Samanic
Photo via Chris Covatta/NBAE

By Jonas Clark

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers on winning the NBA title, congratulations to former San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green on winning another one too, and congratulations to you for hanging in there for the 2019-2020 season that literally lasted a year from preseason to the Finals.

Now that that’s over, the other 28 teams, including your San Antonio Spurs, can look forward to the NBA releasing the plan for moving on to the next season. With a new league calendar will also come a fresh timetable for the G-League, and the construction of this next season’s Austin Spurs roster can begin. Finally.

Types of G League Players

The NBA Draft is currently scheduled for November 18th, just over a month from now. After the 60 players are selected that evening, the franchises will sign up their undrafted free agents, and the players left over will likely put their name in the hat for the G-League draft. Players who aren’t drafted by an NBA team and elect to enter the G-League draft will preserve their NBA draft eligibility for the future.

Six players have been drafted into the NBA after first going to the G-League, with P.J. Hairston and Thanasis Antetokounmpo being the last two selected that way back in 2014.

G-League Draft Picks

As the Austin Spurs prepare to construct their roster, they are starting with a blank slate as even the team’s two two-way contracts are open heading into the NBA offseason, with Drew Eubanks and Quinndary Weatherspoon entering free agency. Contracts in the G-League are only one year, but a team can exercise the returning player rights on any player coming back to the G-League that has played on the team in the last two seasons.

The Austin Spurs could be expected to bring back team player/mentors Jeff Ledbetter and Jordan Green if they don’t find their way to NBA rosters. A number of players could be snatched up with NBA or two-way contracts, with Dedric Lawson and Daulton Hommes quickly coming to mind as guys that could help a team fill the stretch-four role off the bench as lengthy rebounders who can score at all levels. This reason is why I’ve previously listed those two as candidates for the Spurs’ available two-way contracts.

The roster, of course, will be constructed in partnership between San Antonio and Austin, and what players the Spurs may want to see operating in a version of the system. Players added to the Austin roster also would be brought in to compliment any San Antonio Spurs assigned to Austin, likely to include the draft picks from this year if the trend continues of players starting with Austin before joining the NBA roster. The development of Luka Samanic is also key if the plan is for him to split time between San Antonio and Austin as well.

Before we can get deep into constructing the team, we not only need to get through the draft, but the Austin Spurs need to find both a GM and a head coach after both Landry Fields and Blake Ahearn jumped to the NBA with the Atlanta Hawks and the Memphis Grizzlies respectively. At least with the 2019-2020 NBA season finally over, we can start getting a look at what’s to come for the Austin Spurs.

**Wondering who could fill the coaching role for Austin? Be sure to check out my article Three and a Half Considerations for Austin Spurs Next Head Coach”.

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