The San Antonio Spurs already crowded backcourt just got a little busier
The Spurs addressed many of their immediate needs with these picks. In Vassell, they’ve added an excellent 3&D wing who helps them go small and lean even further into the style of play that they were using in the bubble.
With Jones, they’ve found their next floor general and leader of the second unit. He’s not the flashiest point guard in this draft class but the younger brother of Tyus Jones was the 2020 ACC Player of the Year and ACC Defensive Player of the Year for a reason. He’s going to be a damn good pro for a long, long time.
As good as these picks were – and make no mistake, they were excellent picks – they do nothing to alleviate the pressure that was already building in the Spurs backcourt.
San Antonio Spurs could face some difficult decisions in their backcourt
Just a few weeks ago, on an episode of The Lowe Post, Zach Lowe was discussing hypothetical trades and floated out the idea that other teams around the league might come sniffing around the Spurs guards.
“I know a lot of teams are going to call the Spurs about Derrick White, for instance. Because there’s this sense that there’s limited interest in DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge and then there’s this sense that the Spurs have all these young guards and wings and they’re going to eventually trade one of them. So maybe I call about Derrick White and see if I can get him.”
The Spurs backcourt is getting pretty, pretty crowded. Especially with the addition of Jones and Vassell. Even if neither of Marco Belinelli and Bryn Forbes return, and it’s not set in stone that they won’t be back, the Spurs will still have to find minutes for Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Patty Mills, Lonnie Walker, DeMar DeRozan, Keldon Johnson, Quinndary Weatherspoon, as well as Jones and Vassell.
That’s a lot of mouths to feed. Unless the Spurs are dedicating themselves to playing a four-guard lineup at all times it’s hard to see all of those young players getting the time they need to develop. Jones and Vassell could be sent down to Austin to develop but frankly, they don’t need to be.
It’s not like Jones and Vassell are inexperienced freshmen like Keldon was or don’t have NBA ready bodies like Luka Samanic. They’re both ready to play NBA minutes.
All of this sets up the Spurs to be very active in the trade market over the coming weeks. We were hoping that they’d make some moves before the draft but, given how things shook out, we’re not going to complain.
Still, Mills and DeRozan should draw some interest from teams around the league. Mills is a proven winner and high-quality backup point guard. Meanwhile, DeRozan would be perfectly suited to be a second or third option on a championship-contending team. It’ll be very interesting to see if they’re both on the Spurs roster when the ’20-21 season opens.
These are problems for the future though. For now, let’s sit back and enjoy the excellent job the San Antonio Spurs front office did of adding even more young talent to an already solid core.