Will the San Antonio Spurs play rookie Quinndary Weatherspoon in Orlando?
Like many a San Antonio Spurs rookie before him, Quinndary Weatherspoon spent almost all of his rookie season working with the Spurs G-League team in Austin. Outside of a lone game in Brooklyn shortly before the season was suspended, Weatherspoon never saw the floor for more than 5 minutes this season.
It’s not surprising that Weatherspoon hardly ever real NBA playing time. The San Antonio Spurs have a deep backcourt filled with veteran players who Gregg Popovich trusts more than an unproven rookie. And even though Weatherspoon might have brought something to the Spurs deficient perimeter defense he was still unable to crack the rotation in a meaningful way.
The Spurs were going to have a tough time making the playoffs even if they did have a healthy LaMarcus Aldridge on their team and now that he’s gone the team may choose to experiment with lineups a bit more while they try to keep their streak of playoff appearances alive. But, should they ever become mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, we could see the coaching staff throw everything out the window and play a variety of lineups focused on getting younger players minutes.
If that happens, can San Antonio Spurs fans look forward to seeing Weatherspoon play in Orlando?
Should the San Antonio Spurs carve out a role for Quinndary Weatherspoon?
So long as the Spurs have a chance of making the playoffs, Quinndary Weatherspoon is unlikely to crack the rotation. That streak is all the Spurs have left over from the Big Three era and keeping it alive has been a consistently mentioned point of emphasis for most of the players interviewed so far. But should the Spurs chances be knocked down to zero there would be little reason not to play the Spurs scrappy rookie.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) July 14, 2020
Like the rest of the Spurs young guards, Weatherspoon is a scrappy and active defender. San Antonio has been haunted by weak perimeter defense all year and desperately needs help in that area. With a remaining schedule that is full of deep and talented backcourt like that of the Kings, Nuggets, and Pelicans there would be plenty of opportunities for Weatherspoon to test himself against some of the best in the business.
However, the area where Weatherspoon took the biggest leap forward in his rookie season was in his playmaking ability. He struggled to maintain an impressive assist to turnover ratio while at Mississippi State and there were fears that might carry into the league. But in his rookie year with the Austin Spurs, he held an impressive split of 4.8 assists against 2.7 turnovers per game. There’s still room to improve but that’s significantly better than where he was in college so you have to be somewhat satisfied with the progress that he is making.
Weatherspoon would likely be able to hold his own against NBA competition but that seems like a risk that Gregg Popovich and the coaching staff are likely to take so long as the playoff streak has life. If the day comes when the Spurs chances hit bottom then don’t be surprised to see Weatherspoon cracking the rotation.
He might not have a prominent role in Orlando but what we did see from Quinndary Weatherspoon in his rookie season should be enough to excite San Antonio Spurs about his potential down the road.