2. Malaki Branham
Spurs fans have high hopes for Malaki Branham after the Ohio State alum had a solid rookie season. He played 66 games for San Antonio, earning a spot in the rotation with his three-level scoring. The 20-year-old will have a chance to showcase his development and cement his status as a crucial member of the young core and a long-term piece of their championship puzzle.
Watching Wembanyama don the Silver and Black for the first time at Summer League was a surreal experience for the Spurs faithful, but Branham also put on a show. His leadership on the court was tangible, and the 20-year-old guard averaged 21.0 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game. These statistics were impressive, and perhaps he can turn that momentum into a breakout season.
Malaki is entering his second go-round in the NBA, and he must set himself apart from all the young players vying for a future on a talented Spurs team that will soon have championship aspirations. It will be fascinating to see what Branham brings to the table. He feels like a lock to provide a spark off the bench this season, but can he exceed those expectations?