It has been four seasons since the San Antonio Spurs last made their way into the NBA Playoffs. After Kawhi Leonard forced a trade in the summer of 2018, they were able to sneak in once, but haven't been able to stay afloat past that.
Over the past few seasons, San Antonio's roster has seen some major turnover. Keldon Johnson is the only remaining player from the 2019-2020 campaign. With that being said, it feels as if the Spurs are ready to try and vault back into competitiveness.
They just drafted French sensation Victor Wembanyama -- a player labeled the best prospect since LeBron James -- with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft. With the seleciton, San Antonio added Wembanyama to a young core consisting of Johnson, Tre Jones, Jeremy Sochan, Devin Vassell, and Maliki Branham. Is that a team that can snatch up a Play-In Tournament spot in the Western Conference?
Maybe. The West is pretty deep, after all.
San Antonio should use this upcoming season as almost an audition for players to be a part of the next iteration of a competitive Spurs team. The 2023-24 campaign will also serve as an opportunity for the Spurs to impress impending free agents, perhaps showing enough promise to lure some help to the Lone Star State.
The Spurs do have the third-most "projected cap space" -- which Spotrac defines as "cap space with cap holds renounced if team salary was below the cap maximum. Assumes veteran club options declined and non-guaranteed players released” -- for next summer at $78 million. Their long list of 2024 free agents is the driving force behind the organization's financial flexibility.
Doug McDermott, Reggie Bullock, Zach Collins, Khem Birch, Cedi Osman, and Cameron Payne will all be unrestricted free agents, while Vassell and Sandro Mamukelashvili will be restricted free agents.
San Antonio has more than enough money to keep those in the group that fit the future, as well as to attract more talent to put around Wembanyama.