Devin Vassell sends loud and clear message to Spurs fans, NBA

San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat
San Antonio Spurs v Miami Heat / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The San Antonio Spurs are entering the next phase of their rebuild after pulling the winning ticket in the Victor Wembanyama sweepstakes this summer. Though the front office lucked into a once-in-a-lifetime franchise cornerstone, it is now up to them to determine which of their talented prospects belong at the forefront of a championship contending core and who is an expendable investment.

Devin Vassell was on the brink of a breakout before lingering knee issues sent him to the sidelines and derailed his momentum, but he looked like a nearly untouchable asset through the first half of the season. Despite raising his nightly numbers across the board, some fans were worried that he never seemed comfortable or confident after returning to the hardwood following the All-Star Break.

The 6-foot-5 swingman persevered through setbacks to average a career-high 18.5 points and 3.6 assists per game, emerging as a three-level scorer for an inexperienced team in desperate need of offensive firepower. While a young player going under the knife and making just 38 appearances is a reasonable cause for concern, Vassell took to social media to let everyone know he is fully healthy.

Seeing Vassell elevate for an emphatic slam in an empty gymnasium might not move the needle, but no one can argue he hasn't been putting in work this offseason. The 23-year-old spent time rounding on his midrange package with Kevin Durant at the tail-end of July, and learning the tricks of the trade from a future Hall of Famer could be the secret ingredient he needs to propel himself into stardom.

The Silver and Black have the personnel to make considerable strides next season, and Devin Vassell has a chance to help this proud organization exceed expectations in a stacked Western Conference if he continues unlocking his immense upside. Don't be shocked if he settles in next to Keldon Johnson and Victor Wembanyama on the totem pole as one of the go-to options for Gregg Popovich.