3 San Antonio Spurs who could contend for leaguewide awards this season

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
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The San Antonio Spurs are nearly 24 hours from kicking off their regular season schedule, and fans are eager to start a new chapter after watching their favorite franchise fall to the bottom of the NBA standings. There are several reasons to be optimistic about the outlook of this young club, including the potential for some of their players to contend for individual awards and accolades in 2023-24.

Devin Vassell: Most Improved Player of the Year

Nagging injuries derailed a breakout campaign from Devin Vassell last season, limiting him to only 38 games as he underwent arthroscopic knee surgery before the All-Star Break. But Spurs fans are well aware of his immense potential as a scorer, and they are eagerly anticipating another developmental leap from the fourth-year swingman, especially now that he is part of a much-improved team helmed by Wembanyama.

Vassell showcased his progress as a defender and self-creator, averaging 16.3 points and 1.3 steals in limited minutes this preseason. He gave Spurs fans a small sample of the versatility we can expect from him on opening night, and he has the talent to become a leader for a starting lineup full of young players who are determined to prove they can compete at the highest level in the NBA.

San Antonio had a prime opportunity to bolster their roster and pursue an up-and-coming shooting guard like Austin Reaves this summer, but Gregg Popovich and the front office showed trust in Vassell. If Devin can sustain his upward trajectory and form solid chemistry with Zach Collins, Jeremy Sochan, Keldon Johnson, and Wembanyama, his $146 million extension will look like a bargain.