NBA analyst says Spurs are 'not that far away from being a first-round playoff team'

San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors
San Antonio Spurs v Golden State Warriors / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The dust has settled a bit for the San Antonio Spurs after winning the 2023 NBA Draft Lottery and earning the right to make Victor Wembanayama the latest face of their franchise. While the front office has a straightforward decision about which player to select with the first overall pick come June 22nd, national talking heads are already discussing whether or not the team should take an aggressive approach to accelerate their rebuild this summer.

Bill Simmons took a stance on that topic during the latest episode of his self-titled podcast, asserting the Spurs should figure out how to improve their roster as soon as possible. The famous basketball blogger and longtime analyst even went as far as to suggest that San Antonio is close to becoming a first-round playoff team as currently constructed, mentioning Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, and Zach Collins as a solid foundation around Wembanyama.

The Spurs could clear as much as $46.9 million in salary cap space if they renounce all their holds and decline all player options this offseason, which is more than enough spending money to pursue marquee names like Khris Middleton, Fred VanVleet, and Draymond Green. San Antonio might strike out on those All-Star free agents on the open market, but they will still have a chance to lure younger players like Austin Reaves, Cameron Johnson, and Grant Williams to the 2-1-0.

Doling out lucrative contracts to win-now pieces could help the Spurs enter the postseason picture earlier than anticipated. However, that route raises expectations and expedites their timeline, putting pressure on Wembanyama to produce rapid results. Playoff experience is essential to development, but the Spurs have the tradeable assets to exercise patience and strike at the right moment. Allowing their young core to build chemistry organically could yield the best long-term outcome.

dark. Next. Draft expert says Wembanyama could be an All-Star as a rookie. Draft expert says Wembanyama could be an All-Star as a rookie