The San Antonio Spurs' offseason has been one of the most talked about around the NBA. By trading away All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray before the start of free agency, it was clear to many that the Spurs are on the path of a rebuild.
The Spurs have a very young roster. Joshua Primo and all the new rookies they drafted, Jeremy Sochan, Malaki Branham, and Blake Wesley, are all under 20 years old. According to Basketball Real GM, the Spurs are the second-youngest team in the league right now. Additionally, they haven't moved Doug McDermott and Jakob Poeltl, who are both rumored to be involved in potential trade talks, just yet.
Last season, they missed the playoffs after vigorously fighting for the 8th seed in the tough Western Conference. The Spurs finished with a record of 34-48, which was average considering the team has a lot of young and developing players.
With that said, I think the Spurs won't generate the same number of wins they did the previous season. However, they won't go on a full-on "tank mode" like the Houston Rockets the past two seasons.
We might see plenty of blowout losses for the Spurs this season
Most modern Spurs fans aren't accustomed to rebuilding. With the success that the franchise had in the past two decades, a season with a notable amount of losses will be hard to accept. I'll be frank with you guys, there will be games that will be unbearable to watch. But that's alright, it's all part of the process.
However, worry not, as this season will still be hopeful for many. We'll get a chance to see the new-look young core of the Silver and Black showcase their talents. While we did get a preview of that during the Summer League games, it still doesn't compare to actual NBA games.
One of the most highly-anticipated debuts will be that of Jeremy Sochan, who didn't play the entire competition after testing positive for COVID-19. Additionally, a full season of point Primo has fans excited after seeing him run the offense in the point guard position in Las Vegas.
Also, let's not forget the consistent improvement of Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson. This upcoming season, the two rising wing players will definitely compete as to which of them will lead the team in scoring. Johnson recently signed an extension with the Spurs, so we know he's going to ball out this 2022-23 season.
Unlike the past two seasons, it's likely that the Spurs won't be competing in the Play-In Tournament. With how their roster is built, it will be a waste of time to try and fight for the last spot in the playoffs. This season will be full of circumstances with young players trying to find their stride in the league.
But like I said earlier, it won't be all that bad. I believe they'll still manage to get some wins against teams that are much-favored by the media. It's just like last season, where they managed to even some of the season series against a few of the top teams in the West.
San Antonio Spurs 2022-23 total wins projection: 25 wins
By the end of next season, I see the Spurs close to the bottom of the Western Conference standings. Winning just 25 games is pretty underwhelming, and we're all not used to getting so few wins in a season. But that's what this upcoming season will be all about for San Antonio.
The Spurs might rack up a few more wins than 25, though, given how there are players who have already experienced the NBA grind and can help close-out some games.
Currently, there's been multiple rumors surrounding the Spurs' interest in the French phenom, Victor Wembanyama. It's highly likely that the Spurs will be actively gunning for Wembanyama once he declares for the NBA Draft next year. Tanking that much would be a small price to pay if the Spurs get a chance to secure a unicorn of a player.
Additionally, there are still some teams that might do the same to get the 7-foot-2 talent. The teams that had the first three picks in this year's draft would still want to add Wembanyama to their young core. So, even if the Spurs get less than 25 wins, it'll be understandable if it means getting the talented prospect.
With that said, I know the upcoming season won't be the same as the past ones. It'll be different as the Spurs organization try to find its footing and build around the new breed of players. The Spurs have been through the ups in the past decades. Now it's time to experience the downs again.