The Ringer ranked the San Antonio Spurs young core as middle of the pack
After grinding through a season of frustration it seems like this will be the year that San Antonio Spurs fans get what they’ve been asking for. With the youngest roster in Gregg Popovich’s tenure, it seems like this will be the year where we finally see the young guys take over.
The Spurs still have a strong group of veterans in DeMar DeRozan, LaMarcus Aldridge, Rudy Gay, and Patty Mills. But this is a young man’s team.
San Antonio Spurs have banded together around the team’s young core. Together they’re a source of hope for the future along with being an incredibly fun group of guys to watch and root for. Sadly, it seems that not everyone shares our optimism.
The Ringer ranks San Antonio Spurs young guys 14th in the league
In their annual ranking of young cores around the league, The Ringer and staff writer Zach Kram ranked the San Antonio Spurs young core in the middle of the pack. The Spurs came in at 14th, just a slight improvement from their position of 15th last year. Here is Kram’s rationale for his ranking.
“The Spurs haven’t budged much since last season, either on these rankings or as a general organization caught between the Aldridge-DeRozan old guard and the Murray-Walker youth brigade. One potential bright spot amid that identity crisis: no. 11 pick Devin Vassell, whose 16.5 WAR projection is one of the best for any incoming rookie.”
Now, it does bear mentioning that these rankings only accounted for players 25 years old and younger, so Derrick White (26 years old) just barely missed the cut. But here is a list of the Spurs players who would have been accounted for: Tre Jones, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Trey Lyles, Dejounte Murray, Lonnie Walker, Jakob Poeltl, Luka Samanic, Drew Eubanks, and Keita Bates-Diop.
And sure, some of those guys don’t move the needle too much but let’s trim it down to the players that San Antonio is going to really build around over the next few years. You’re telling me that a group of Tre, Keldon, Devin, Lyles, DJ, Lonnie, Jakob, and Luka is only good enough to be ranked 14th? Get out of here.
One of the hard parts of evaluating this group is that there is so little go off of. Derrick and Dejounte only started sharing the court for heavy minutes during the bubble, Lonnie didn’t crack the rotation until mid last year, Keldon didn’t make that same jump until the team got to Orlando.
It’s simply too hard to fully evaluate the potential of this group given the limited opportunities they’ve had. Hopefully, that changes this year when Gregg Popovich and his assistants let the young guys run wild.
National media sleeping on the San Antonio Spurs is nothing new. At this point, Spurs fans should almost welcome the disrespect. When everyone is singing praises for the young Spurs a year from now it’ll make that “I told you so” so much sweeter.