San Antonio Spurs News

3 Concerning trends from Spurs 5-game roadtrip to monitor

Devin Vassell - San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings
Devin Vassell - San Antonio Spurs v Sacramento Kings / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages
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The Spurs' veteran wings are leaving a lot to be desired

Two of the more disappointing contributors over the past five games have undoubtedly been Josh Richardson and Doug McDermott. McDermott has remained relatively efficient, scoring 8.5 points per game shooting 48.1% from the field and 37.5% from three, but has also only pulled in 1 rebound per game and dished out 0.5 assists per game compared to 1.3 turnovers. Meanwhile, Josh Richardson has been a bit more productive as a rebounder and playmaker (2.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game), but has greatly struggled in the way of shooting, hitting only 1 of 4 threes per game.

The idea behind giving significant minutes to veterans like McDermott and Richardson is to help space the floor and give the Spurs' young wings (i.e., Vassell, Johnson, and Sochan) more room to operate. While McDermott is successfully providing that floor spacing, he's struggled to do much else with the ball in his hands other than turning the ball over, and he's only been passable at best on defense. Richardson, on the other hand, is being forced to put the ball on the floor more than he's used to given the Spurs' lack of a true backup point guard.

The Spurs simply don't have much wing depth for the time being, and the team lacking a player that can consistently run the offense coming off the bench is very clearly affecting their time on the court. Unfortunately, giving and not giving playing time to Richardson and McDermott is a bit of a double-edged sword. The team choosing to bench them in favor of younger wings like Malachi Branham and Isaiah Roby could diminish the trade value they currently hold. But playing them could mean hanging Branham and Roby out to dry on the bench, which isn't ideal for either player.

Unlike the other two concerning trends we're bringing up on this list, Spurs fans may simply have to be patient to let this situation work itself out. Blake Wesley's return (which will optimistically happen in late December to early January) could significantly improve the situation. Or, if the Spurs are comfortable with fully going off the deep end, one or both of McDermott and Richardson could be traded. If the latter were to come to fruition, however, I wouldn't expect it to happen until the trade deadline comes around in February.