The San Antonio Spurs have had a mix of ups and downs in their rotation this season. Due to various injuries to their go-to guys, the Spurs had to dig deep in their bench to address their problems.
In a loss against the Los Angeles Clippers on November 4th, Zach Collins suffered a non-displaced fracture of his fibula. He will miss at least two-to-four weeks due to the injury. It allowed others like Keita Bates-Diop to have an increased time on the floor. However, Bates-Diop isn't the only player given a moment to shine by the Spurs.
San Antonio is known to find gems in certain situations. Amid a season where they needed depth, the team was able to find much-needed energy and production from Charles Bassey. Bassey was waived by the Philadelphia 76ers before the season even began. After getting waived, the Spurs signed the Nigerian big man on a two-way contract.
Bassey isn't the only threat in Bates-Diop's decreased time on the floor. Isaiah Roby has shown tremendous promise whenever he gets to be in action for the Silver and Black. Roby's production tends to get overlooked by many, as his numbers aren't that high. This season, he's averaging 3.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 1.2 assists while playing 10.2 minutes a game.
Bates-Diop could be the odd man out
KBD isn't an exceptionally terrible player for the Spurs. Based on his last game against the Sacramento Kings, he played decently as a starter. In 31 minutes of game time, the 6-foot-8 forward put up 16 points, four rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block. But he's not able to put up similar numbers on a consistent level.
When Collins returns to the floor after rehabbing his injury, Bates-Diop could see himself falling out of the rotation. Offensively, Collins is a more well-rounded player. He can stretch the defense at a high rate, knocking down 38.9% of his deep shots. It's also the reason he's next in line if an instance of Jakob Poeltl getting hurt happens.
Defensively, Bassey is a more active player. In six games with San Antonio this season, the big man is averaging 6.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks. The downside of playing Bassey is his unreliability being a floor stretcher.
With these arguments alone, it's only fitting that the Spurs could play Collins alongside Bassey once the former returns. Their combination of offense and defense should be a decent tandem for the second unit.
The way I see it, KBD and Roby will be the ones fighting for minutes if everyone's healthy. They need to prove to the coaching staff that they deserve a permanent spot in the rotation. However, with Roby being a more reliable offensive player, Bates-Diop might drop from the lineup this season.