This is uncharted territory for San Antonio Spurs fans, many of which were very young the last time they missed the playoffs, so here’s what comes next.
For the first time in this millennium, the San Antonio Spurs will not move on to the NBA Playoffs. It’s weird to read and it’s certainly weird to write, but it’s the truth of the matter. As this is uncharted territory for many of you, including myself, one major question remains: What comes next for the San Antonio Spurs in 2020?
Well first and foremost, we get a major tidbit of information in just about a week. On Thursday, August 20, 2020, the NBA will hold its annual NBA Draft Lottery in which those fated ping pong balls decide which teams get which selection in the draft. San Antonio finished as the 11th seed in the Western Conference, giving them the most likely odds for the No. 12 pick. That means the Spurs have a 9.4 percent chance to jump into the Top-Four and a two percent chance at the No. 1.
Those odds aren’t great, but they’ll have to do! San Antonio is entering the draft lottery for the first time since selecting franchise star Tim Duncan No. 1 overall in 1997. Unlike in previous years, the lottery will be conducted virtually due to COVID-19. As of now, the 2020 NBA Draft is slated for October 16, which is just over a month away. Their most likely outcome is to draft at No. 11 and No. 42 unless they jump into the top-four or trade a draft pick.
As a result of the density of this season’s schedule, free agency is set to kick off on October 18. San Antonio needs to discuss DeMar DeRozan‘s future with the team as his $27.7 million player option remains in the balance. They’ve got expiring free-agents to consider in Bryn Forbes, Marco Belinelli, the newly-signed Zeller and restricted free agent Jakob Poeltl.
The last time the @spurs missed the postseason, they received the #1 pick in the 1997 lottery.
— Tallysight Sports (@tallysight) August 14, 2020
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The likelihood of the NBA hosting a Summer League in the Fall isn’t high since the time between now and the projected start to the season isn’t long. If they do, there’s a chance that the Spurs will be asked to participate as a team that was in the Draft Lottery that didn’t make it to the postseason. To be quite frank, details are unclear about that as of now.
That pertains to the start of the 2020-21 season as well. In a normal world, teams start preparing for the new season through September with the regular season beginning in mid-to-late October. It’s more likely that the NBA seeks a late-December start date for their next season as they work out the safety protocols and decide how to operate.
Asking players to enter a bubble for eight games is one thing, but they won’t do it for an 82-season slate. Once this season concludes, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver and the NBPA are going to work out details on how to proceed for the new season. Regardless, there are going to be influential moments for Spurs over the next month and a half at least.
The season may be over for the Spurs, but NBA basketball never stops. On the bright side, at least you won’t have to stress while watching the 2020 NBA Playoffs.