Starters: Victor Wembanyama - Jeremy Sochan
This may come as a surprise to some, but Wembanyama is cemented as one of the starting forwards for San Antonio. The Spurs have labeled the 7-foot-3 Frenchman as a forward in their press releases and official rosters. Wembanyama has expressed his disinterest in suiting up at center, and he will be a de facto power forward to begin his career. While he is one of the tallest players on the floor, tipoffs might be the only tranditional big man duties the Spurs ask him to handle. That might change after he adds muscle and adapts to the NBA, but he will see most of his minutes at the four this season.
Jeremy Sochan is the logical choice to assume a starting role next to Wembanyama. While Keldon Johnson is a popular pick among fans to remain in the starting lineup, it is impossible to ignore that the second-year forward has a greater two-way impact on the game than his exuberant counterpart. Sochan has already exhibited the ability to defend some of the best players in the league. His subpar shooting poses problems, but his cutting, finishing, and secondary playmaking help cover up some of his shortcomings. Sochan can lead the offense for brief stints, and his well-rounded game makes him the ideal partner alongside Wembanyama in San Antonio's defensive-minded system.
Bench: Keldon Johnson - Doug McDermott
Keldon Johnson is the obvious choice to become San Antonio's sixth man. His energy is undeniable and he and would be an immediate spark plug off the bench. Johnson finishes at the rim and can hit catch-and-shoot threes, which makes him a seamless plug-and-play contributor in numerous lineup configurations. His defense is the one knock that keeps him in the second unit under Sochan, but he has been effective on that end in a lesser role earlier in his career. Benching your leading scorer may seem questionable, though rampant injuries amid a tanking season forced Keldon into that role. While Johnson is a very good player, the Spurs have a tough decision ahead of them.
The next second string forward could easily change throughout the season, but Doug McDermott is the simple choice here. While Julian Champagnie had a remarkable Summer League that caught the attention of Spurs fans everywhere, McDermott is a steady presence that you know will get buckets. Movement shooting and timely cutting make McDermott a perfect complementary piece for a player like Wembanyama. He should benefit from the looks that Wemby generates. His three-point shooting is instrumental for a team with limited spacing, and McDermott is aware his playstyle will "fit the mold" to elevate the number one overall pick.
Reserves: Cedi Osman - Julian Champagnie
Cedi Osman, much like Payne, landed in San Antonio via a trade this summer. He is a serviceable role player, but it might be a challenge for the Spurs to figure out where the sixth-year veteran fits on this roster. His expiring contract makes him expendable, and Osman is likely the odd-man out as the front office navigates the next stages of their rebuild.