Have the San Antonio Spurs already found their next Big Three?
By Andrew Ites
The San Antonio Spurs have taken a slight dip since the breakup of the original Big Three, but their roster might already have their next dynamic trio ready to go.
Four of the San Antonio Spurs‘ five NBA titles were won with teams built around the Big Three of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili.
Tim was the first to leave the team after his retirement in the summer of 2016, although he has since rejoined the organization in an assistant coaching capacity.
The Spurs lost their two great guards from that trio in the summer of 2018 as they decided to let Tony Parker sign with Charlotte in free agency and Manu Ginobili announced his retirement that same offseason.
Now, San Antonio is built around a dominant midrange duo in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge, but the next great Spurs team will probably feature their group of young talented guards who just happen to come in a trio as well.
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Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Lonnie Walker have all shown enough promise early on in their careers for Spurs fans to have hope that they can become the next Big Three in San Antonio.
Obviously the trio of Duncan, Parker, and Ginobili set an almost unreachable standard, but the Spurs have to like their future outlook based on the early returns from their young guards.
Dejounte Murray made an All-Defensive Team in just his second year in the league, and he has plenty of time to sharpen his offensive skills at 22 years old. A preseason ACL injury prevented Murray from seeing the court last season, but we’re expecting big things from him in a bounceback year.
Derrick White followed Dejounte’s career path with a breakout year in his second season in the league.
After a slow start to the year due to a heel injury, White averaged 10+ points and 4.2+ assists per game in January, March, and April, and he was also a defensive menace ranking in the top five amongst point guards in defensive real plus-minus and swiping a steal per game.
The wild card in this group is Lonnie Walker, who hasn’t proven himself at the NBA level yet after spending most of his rookie year in the G League.
However, Walker dominated the Spurs’ Summer League schedule scoring 30 points per game in Las Vegas as he looks prime to take a big leap in year two as White and Murray have in the past two seasons.
Lonnie probably has the most star potential out of this group with his insane athleticism and extremely wet jump shot as long as he can harness that talent and play smart Spurs basketball to go along with that natural ability.
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I’m not saying that Murray, White, and Walker are going to win four championships together like their predecessor’s did, but they have a chance to be the faces of the franchise for years to come and win a lot of games in the process.