The San Antonio Spurs lost one of their stars in the FanSided 2020 expansion
The restart NBA season is almost upon us but before we return to our usual game coverage, the higher-ups at FanSided have one more fun project for the people. Earlier in the hiatus, we took part in a re-do of the 2017 draft. Now we’re back with an expansion draft and unfortunately, the San Antonio Spurs can’t protect everyone.
You can find the full details on the expansion draft here but the ground rules are fairly straightforward. Every team was allowed to protect three players who are under contract or restricted free agents heading into the summer of 2021, and each expansion team can only select a maximum of one player from each of the 30 NBA teams.
Before we get into who the San Antonio Spurs lost in the expansion draft let’s cover who we decided to protect and why. It wasn’t an easy decision by any means but we ultimately decided to use our three protections on Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker, and Luka Samanic.
Deciding to use the three protections on young players was the easy part. There’s no sense in using two slots on DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge. Both are in their 30’s, with games that are slightly ill-suited to the modern NBA. Both are still stars in their own right, but the Spurs need to be focused on the future, and our protections reflected that.
Ultimately the toughest decisions came down to exactly which young players to protect. We narrowed it down to a pool of Murray, Walker, Samanic, Derrick White, and Keldon Johnson but trimming that group of five down to three was a tougher task.
We ended up going with Murray, Walker, and Samanic because we thought that it would give us the strongest overall lineup going forward. Of the five, letting go of Keldon was the easiest choice. He’s going to be a good player for a long time but he’s got a smaller body of work to judge than some of the others and doesn’t appear to have as high of a ceiling as Samanic. Deciding to leave White unprotected was tough but we didn’t want to double up on point guards and DJ is younger and has a bit more potential.
Now here’s who the San Antonio Spurs lost in the FanSided NBA Expansion Draft.
San Antonio Spurs lose DeMar DeRozan to Kansas City in the expansion draft
With the 3rd pick in the 2020 FanSided NBA Expansion Draft, the Kansas City Burnt Ends (absolutely phenomenal team name) selected DeMar DeRozan from the San Antonio Spurs. DeRozan joins a team deep with guards such as Kemba Walker and Malcolm Brogdon.
Along with DeRozan, Walker, and Brogdon, the Burnt Ends also have a few high potential players like Michael Porter Jr., Donte DiVincenzo, and Jarrett Allen, as well as more established veterans in Kevin Love and Lou Williams. Overall, Kansas City isn’t going to win a championship in their debut season but they’ll be able to go toe to toe with most teams in the league and would have a shot at the playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
The bigger surprise in the expansion draft is who remained on the Spurs roster when all was said and done. San Antonio was able to hold on to LaMarcus, Derrick, and Keldon. Pretty surprising when you look at some of the players who were taken.
Frankly, if this was real life and not just a fun exercise most Spurs fans probably wouldn’t be too upset with the results. The Spurs were able to shed off DeRozan, opening up precious minutes for Walker, White, and Murray, while also holding onto key young players in Johnson and Jakob Poeltl, and as some icing on the cake, they got one more year out of their franchise cornerstone, LaMarcus Aldridge.
If the NBA ever decides to put a franchise back in Seattle they’ll have to have another expansion draft. If that day comes, and we all should hope Seattle gets the team they rightfully deserve, lets all cross our fingers and hope the real expansion draft goes as well for the San Antonio Spurs as this one did.