San Antonio entered this preseason with overwhelming excitement and curiosity. There are so many questions surrounding this team, and Gregg Popovich has experimented freely. Now is the time for young players to prove themselves and establish a consistent role in the rotation. Between wacky lineups and their unique style of play, fans have enjoyed plenty of entertaining exhibition basketball. But who still has to rise to the occasion before the season starts?
1.) Blake Wesley
Blake Wesley has tremendous potential, but he is one of the most unpolished prospects on the Spurs. We have seen encouraging flashes here and there that make your imagination run wild, but a sequence of questionable decisions almost always follows those highlights. He now finds himself fighting for a role in the rotation, and the rest of the preseason will offer him a chance to show his growth. The depth chart is thin at point guard, which might leave room for him to steal a spot in the second unit.
Wesley will be an instrumental player for San Antonio if he can control the offense while maintaining his breakneck speed. He is also a smothering perimeter defender. While Devonte' Graham and Tre Jones have their strengths, they lack the size and length to make much impact on that end. If there's one thing everyone knows about Spurs culture, it's that defense is not only the way into Gregg Popovich's heart but the quickest way to earn minutes.
Standing 6-foot-4 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Wesley has the tools to be a lead guard that provides stops on the defensive end. Seeing him develop into a facilitator with the archetype of a Dejounte Murray or Derrick White isn't out of the question. A defender like that would fit perfectly alongside Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell.