Point Guard Predicament: Spurs see-saw between Jeremy Sochan and Tre Jones

Jeremy Sochan - Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs
Jeremy Sochan - Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages
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The middle-ground solution

So, to condense all of the information presented here into the bare minimum, the Spurs appear to want Sochan to develop as a lead ball-handler, but the benefits of starting Tre Jones at PG are becoming too obvious to ignore. Furthermore, Sochan serving as the starting PG could accelerate his development if all goes well, but starting him at PG potentially has several negative implications for other Spurs players. So, what’s the solution here?

Priority number one, point-blank, is to put Victor Wembanyama in the best position to succeed as early as possible. That starts with him sharing the floor with a veteran center like Zach Collins and ends with having Tre Jones at the helm for the majority of his time on the floor. Wembanyama’s sheer gravity paired with Jones’ talent as a floor general is a recipe for success for everyone involved, whether that means easier looks at the rim for Wembanyama, more cutting opportunities for Sochan, more space for Jones to find his own shot, more open spot-up shooting opportunities, etc. The possibilities are endless.

With that in mind, though, it’s abundantly clear that the Spurs see something in Sochan beyond just being an off-ball threat, and the team should prioritize exploring his ball-handling potential on offense sooner rather than later while they can still afford rough patches during the season. So, while I think the Spurs should start Sochan at SF over Keldon Johnson, that doesn’t mean he exclusively has to play at that position.

Having Jones as the first player off the floor with Johnson coming off the bench as the sixth man would allow Sochan to play a few minutes as the team’s secondary PG (ideally against slightly easier competition). When Sochan needs rest, the remaining PG minutes before Jones re-enters can primarily go to Blake Wesley or, if you’d like to put on your tin foil hats with me, perhaps even Wembanyama for a possession or two now and then. A three-man rotation at PG allows the Spurs’ ball handlers to have fresher legs, and the Spurs can see what they have in Wesley before coming up on the tough decisions they’ll have to begin making soon.

Do Sochan’s growing pains mean that Jones is a surefire bet to retake the starting PG job? Not necessarily. Five games is still quite a small sample size, and outside of the Houston Rockets, the Spurs haven’t exactly had an easy schedule to begin the season. The Mavericks, Clippers, and Suns are all legitimate playoff teams with a significant chance to make a deep run. The Spurs can undeniably still afford to experiment, make mistakes, and lose games being that they won’t be pushing for a deep playoff run any time soon. 

So, if they feel that Sochan can make significant strides, even if it means working through growing pains and losing some games along the way, expect to see Sochan as the team's starting PG for the foreseeable future.

Spurs Playbook: How San Antonio runs their half-court offense. Spurs Playbook: How San Antonio runs their half-court offense. dark. Next