It's not every day that the San Antonio Spurs get mentioned, let alone praised, by an NBA analyst, but here we are. Recently, analyst and former player JJ Redick ranked the Spurs as having the second-best young core in the NBA.
Despite what opposing fanbases might think, Redick is right about the Spurs young core comparing favorably to other teams' similarly aged cores, especially with Victor Wembanyama. Wembanyama is widely viewed as one of the best NBA draft prospects ever and could be an immediate superstar and the center piece of that core.
Victor Wembanyama will be the center piece of the Spurs' talented core.
He will be joining fourth-year forward Keldon Johnson, who is coming off a breakout season in which he averaged 22 points and five rebounds per game, and Devin Vassell. Vassell, who was taken 11th overall in the 2020 NBA draft, has quickly exceeded expectations. Although he only played 38 games this past season, he showed off an expanded offensive skillset while averaging a career-high 18.5 points and shooting 38.7% on 7 3-point attempts per game.
Then there is Jeremy Sochan, a 6'9 power forward who can guard and play multiple positions. Most number one picks don't join situations where they will be paired up with two high-scoring wings as well as a uniquely skilled four, and that should be huge for Wembanyama.
He wouldn't need to carry the team on offense right out of the gate. In fact, he may not be the team's leading scorer next season, or even the second-leading scorer. That depends on whether Johnson and Vassell can take another step forward next season by playing alongside Wembanyama and how he will adjust to the NBA.
That's not to say that he won't have a major impact; actually, the Spurs new Big 3 could combine to average at least 60 points per game next season if everything goes right. Factor in Sochan, who, much like Wembanyama, provides two-way versatility, and San Antonio has arguably the best collection of players 24 and under in the NBA. Don't tell that to other fanbases though.
Needless to say, Redick's rankings didn't go over that well with other teams on (or not on) the list. Luckily, we won't have to wait long to see some of the aforementioned team's best young players play, including the Spurs, with NBA Summer League only a few weeks away.