#5: Malaki Branham
After being taken 20th overall in last year's NBA draft, there were a lot of expectations placed on Malaki Branham. For the first few months of last season, he didn't quite live up to them, which was completely understandable as a teenage rookie playing real minutes in the NBA. Then Branham broke out in February, averaging an impressive 16.8 points per game while shooting 38.6% from 3.
That promising play raises expectations for his sophomore season, especially now that the team will have Wembanyama. However, that could prove to be a double-edged sword for Branham. He benefited from plenty of playing time during the second half of the season after Josh Richardson was traded, but with Wembanyama on board, there may be fewer minutes for his development.
After all, players such as Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson will likely play more as the Spurs try to win. With fewer minutes, Branham will have less time to show what he can do, though if he improves enough, he could become a key member of the second unit. On the other hand, if he doesn't, then the Spurs may look to bring in a veteran wing after next season to compete with him. The pressure will be on Branham to prove what he can do next season.