The early returns on Victor Wembanyama have been glowing. The 19-year-old phenom has lived up to expectations this season, averaging 19.2 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks per game. He alters shots on the perimeter, deters players from entering the paint, and flat-out flusters opponents with his wingspan. Offensively, the rookie can do it all, and the Spurs are experimenting with how to utilize his skills and how he fits with the rest of their roster.
Gregg Popovich is not the all-time winningest head coach in NBA history for no reason, and Spurs fans expect him to trot out lineups that highlight Wembanyama and his unique abilities. Some lineups will be more scoring-driven, while others will be more defensive-minded. Regardless, his rotations will cater to specific in-game situations. With countless options, let’s look at some creative combinations the Silver and Black can experiment with moving forward.
3.) Jones, Vassell, Sochan, Wembanyama, Bassey
The Spurs are still finding themselves on the defensive end of the floor this season, and this lineup can help solidify them on that side of the ball. It will also add an edge to their game and make them a more formidable opponent. With Jones and Vassell locking down the perimeter, Wembanyama and Sochan guarding the wing, and Bassey patrolling the paint, this unit will force teams to work hard and earn each basket.
Jones and Vassell give the Spurs solid rebounding from the backcourt, and both guards have a knack for playing the passing lanes. Sochan is an elite instigator with smooth athleticism who can get under your and switch across multiple positions. Wembanyama is a game-changer regardless of where he is on the floor. His unparalleled ability to erase shots and make opponents second-guess themselves needs no further explanation.
As for Bassey, the third-year center has been an enforcer for the Spurs this season, averaging 3.8 rebounds off the bench in only 10.7 minutes per game. He swats shots at the rim, swipes listless entry passes, and notches a handful of deflections every night. Bassey also provides the intangibles that numbers cannot quantify. Most importantly, he brings instant energy to the team whenever he sets foot on the court.
The Spurs must step up on the defensive side of the ball and make it more difficult for opponents to score. This lineup has the personnel to help them in that department.