The San Antonio Spurs are approaching the end of this rebuilding season. At the time of this writing, they have the third-worst record in the NBA at 19-54. This puts the Spurs in a prime position to grab on the of the top 2023 NBA Draft prospects. Adding that talent could have the team back in contention sooner than later.
If their recent play indicates anything, it’s that a healthy Spurs roster can compete with some of the best teams in the league. For example, the Spurs recently beat the first-ranked Denver Nuggets 128-120. Then there’s the game where rookie Jeremy Sochan out-shined the Orlando Magic’s number-one overall pick Paolo Banchero. The Spurs won that contest 132-114 as Sochan outscored Banchero with 29 points and grabbed five more rebounds.
Even with these bright spots, the reality in San Antonio is that the team is at the bottom of the league. Considering some of the top prospects that are expected to be lottery picks, let’s take a look at some potential Spurs starting lineups fans could see next season.
As the third-worst team in the NBA, the Spurs are guaranteed to pick no later than seventh, per the 2019 NBA Lottery format. Of course, NBA teams can select any player they want with their pick. For the purposes of this article, only prospects ranked seventh or higher on Tankathon’s big board are being considered.
Top 2023 NBA Draft Prospects That Could Fit On The Spurs Roster
Brandon Miller is expected to be selected second or third overall, depending on who you ask. Regardless of how you feel about his proximity to a recent tragic event, it’s important to remember that Miller was not charged with any crime. It will ultimately be up to Brian Wright and the Spurs’ front office to decide if he has the type of character they look for in a draft prospect. As Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich famously said, ”We don’t need Boy Scouts, we just need people with great character.” Without any criminal charges, the only court Miller will be trialed in is the court of public opinion.
With a selection of Miller presumably with the third pick, the Alabama product would join the team playing the small forward position. Keldon Johnson is in this position currently, and it’s highly unlikely that Johnson will be moved to the bench. It’s also hard to imagine that a player as talented as Miller would be relegated to the bench or the G League, especially joining a bottom-three team. The more likely line switch would be with Sochan.
In this scenario, Sochan would take over as a point-forward (a forward that plays the point guard position), sending Tre Jones to the bench. Keldon Johnson would return to power forward, allowing Miller to learn the NBA game in the position he is most comfortable with. Zach Collins would likely stay on as starting center.
Victor Wembanyama is the prize of the upcoming draft. It would be a shock to most NBA fans if he wasn’t the first pick. At 7’5”, you would expect him to play center. However, that is the furthest thing from his mind. The French teenager sees himself playing a role similar to Kevin Durant.
Being that he is the most-versatile player in the 2023 draft class, it’s likely that the Spurs would try Wembanyama out at multiple positions. He may play the point one night and power forward the next. That being said, it’s fair to say that he’ll probably settle in as a power forward. This would require Sochan to move to play as a point-forward as explained before.
Scoot Henderson was once seen as the undisputed second-overall pick. Wembanyama has said, “If I was never born, I think [Scoot Henderson] would deserve the first spot.”
At the time of this writing, the G League Ignite team has shut Henderson down. The staff believe he’s shown everything he needs to in order to be draft-ready. Still, people try to justify him falling to third in the draft by saying he’s a bad shooter, but he is shooting around 40 percent from the floor. For context, Ja Morant is around 47 percent, putting him not too far behind an NBA star.
Henderson really only fits into any NBA lineup as a point guard, and the Spurs are no exception. If the San Antonio was to select him with the second pick, Jones would move to the bench and Henderson would start as the point guard. Even if the rookie were to start the season on the bench, I think it’s safe to say that by mid-season he will move into a starting role.
What Do You Think?
Where do you see these players in the lineup? If San Antonio selects one of the Thompson twins, do you think they’ll be a starter right away? If you think these players would fit better elsewhere in the lineup, comment with your thoughts below.
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You left out the new coach Joe Mazzulla….