How the Spurs can accelerate their timeline and crash the playoffs next season

San Antonio Spurs fans have likely noticed several young teams have success in this year's playoffs and there's one way the Spurs can do the same next season.
Victor Wembanyama
Victor Wembanyama / Justin Ford/GettyImages

San Antonio Spurs fans who've been watching the NBA playoffs have likely noticed that several young and inexperienced teams have made noise during the postseason. The Oklahoma City Thunder are one of the youngest teams in the NBA, but they came within two wins of the Western Conference Finals. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Timberwolves were led by a 22-year-old star Anthony Edwards, who had no prior playoff experience.

They are now in the Western Conference Finals and still have a chance to make their first NBA Finals in franchise history. If everything goes right, that will hopefully be the Spurs in the next couple of years, if up-and-coming superstar Victor Wembanyama is as good as people expect him to be in year two.

That would be a lot to ask for from a team that finished with the fifth-worst record in the NBA, but it's not impossible.

Can Victor Wembanyama lead the San Antonio Spurs to the playoffs next season?

The thought of Wembanyama becoming a top-10 player next season isn't an outlandish one, even though he didn't make the all-star team or the all-NBA team. In his defense, while he got off to a relatively slow start last season, he put up Monstars-level numbers, posting 22.4 points, 11 rebounds, 4.4 assists, and 3.9 blocks in the 52 games since he was moved to center.

If he copied and pasted those numbers over at least 72 games next season, then he would easily crack the top-10, though. Even still, a lot would depend on his teammates. The Spurs may have a rookie starting point guard, a recipe for another losing season but they could potentially still upgrade their worst position in free agency.

Wembanyama playing at a high level from the start and the Spurs not using an experimental starting lineup should lead to far better or at least consistent results. That would give them a chance to make the play-in tournament next season.

Ultimately, Wembanyama was already playing at a high level for the majority of his rookie season, and assuming he gets better this summer, he should easily be a top-10 player. Whether that will make the Spurs a top-10 team in the West is less clear, but Wembanyama taking a step forward is their best chance to do so.