The San Antonio Spurs finished the 2022-23 regular season tied for the second-worst record in the NBA. As expected, it was not a season where they had championship or even playoff aspirations of any kind. Rather, it was a developmental year where they allowed their young talent to shine while continuing to build for the future.
When the NBA Lottery occurs on May 16, the Spurs will have the best odds at the top overall pick and at presumably drafting the most hyped prospect in recent memory, Victor Wembanyama. But no matter where San Antonio lands, they are set to improve their roster with high-end talent, as they can mathematically fall no lower than seventh.
When the newest first-round prospect comes to Alamo City, they will join several players in San Antonio that played admirably this past season. Whether the Spurs will keep all these players around is unknown, but a few players unquestionably raised their potential trade value with their performance this year.
1. Keita Bates-Diop
In what turned out to be a pleasant surprise, Keita Bates-Diop enjoyed a career year with the Spurs in 2022-23. Starting in over half the team's contests, he put up a career-best 9.7 points and 1.5 assists while becoming one of San Antonio's most reliable outside shooters, knocking down 39.4% of his threes.
He did this while playing just over 21 minutes per game. Bates-Diop showed to be very effective playing alongside more talented players like Devin Vassell and greatly improved his standing with the organization.
It is fair to say that KBD is growing on a lot of Spurs fans. After his memorable game in December 2021 where he shot a perfect 11-for-11 from the floor and helped the Spurs bulldoze the Lakers, he instantly became more beloved. His improved play last season may make it more likely he hangs around San Antonio for the long haul.