3 scenarios the San Antonio Spurs must avoid in 2023–24

Gregg Popovich
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2.) Striving too hard for the play-in tournament

Prior to the creation of the play-in tournament, the worst place to be was too good to be one of the worst teams in the NBA and too bad to actually make the playoffs. That has changed, with the 9th and 10th-place teams in each conference being eligible for the play-in. That should give the Spurs a chance to make the playoffs—an outside chance, but still a chance.

However, coming close to making the play-in without actually making the play-in is not a place the Spurs should want to be. Even with Wembanyama, the higher the pick the Spurs receive, the better, especially if they also receive Toronto's first-round pick, which would give them the option to pair them together to try and move up in the draft if necessary.

After all, their biggest position of need is at point guard and their best chance of acquiring a talent upgrade at the position is in the draft. Thus, if San Antonio is a few games out of 10th place, then it might make long-term sense for them to pull back rather than push forward, particularly if it increases their chances of upgrading their weakest position.