The San Antonio Spurs have started their preseason, which means the regular season is just around the corner. And for all the draftniks out there, that means college basketball season is coming soon as well. The chance to scout potential Spurs draft picks is enticing – especially for the hoops junkies like me – but it’s most important to know which positions are going to be of need for the team.
The Spurs will not need a young point guard any time soon with Derrick White and Dejounte Murray locking down the position for the foreseeable future. They could of course bring back Patty Mills down the road when his contract runs up as well.
The team will also likely not need power forwards with LaMarcus Aldridge, Chimezie Metu, Trey Lyles and Luka Samanic locked up for the next two seasons at least.
That leaves this team in likely need of shooting guards and small forwards. I’m leaving out true centers only because teams don’t really carry more than one and Jakob Poeltl should be brought back next summer as a restricted free agent. Having said that, here’s the situation with those two positions down the road.
Starting with the shooting guards, Marco Belinelli and Bryn Forbes are unrestricted free agents in the summer of 2020. While Belinelli might come back on a small deal, Forbes is most likely headed elsewhere as someone will pay him much bigger bucks than the Spurs could. Lonnie Walker is locked in all the way through the 2021-22 season on a favorable rookie deal.
And of course, DeMar DeRozan has a player option next summer that would be worth just under $28 million. He could opt out in order to come back on a long-term deal or take the money and run off after that season. Regardless of what he does, a young gun is going to need to come in and become a factor soon with DeRozan playing this season at age 30.
For the small forwards, DeMarre Carroll and Rudy Gay are both locked in for at least two seasons (Carroll for three), but both are on the wrong side of 30. In fact, both are playing at age 33 this season. Rookie Keldon Johnson could use some help assuming he progresses the way the staff expects him to down the road.
With all of those factors in play, the Spurs would want to shore up those positions and possibly get some versatility across them as well. Here are some players to look at during the college basketball season:
- Josh Green, 6’6″, 210 lbs – Arizona
- Tyler Bey, 6’7″, 218 lbs – Colorado
- Jordan Nwora, 6’7″, 225 lbs – Louisville
- Samuell Williamson, 6’7″, 190 lbs – Louisville
- Kahlil Whitney, 6’6″, 210 lbs – Kentucky
- Trendon Watford, 6’7″, 235 lbs – LSU
- Aaron Wiggins, 6’6″, 200 lbs – Maryland
- Johnny Juzang, 6’6″, 214 lbs – Kentucky
- Alpha Diallo, 6’7″, 210 lbs – Providence
There will be more as the season goes on since we will have more tape and highlights to go on, but those are definitely some names to have for right now.
All of these guys are in the perfect range to play both shooting guard and small forward and should have the skills to do so.