Break-in 1. Lonnie Walker
If there's a season Lonnie Walker is going to take a leap in San Antonio, this season needs to be it. In a contract year and now in what would be his senior year with the Spurs, it's time for him to show everyone a little something.
As we've discussed before, the biggest issue with Walker is his inconsistency. He's capable of impacting games for long stretches or even taking them over, but he also can have multiple games where he barely makes an impression.
The preseason was forgettable for Lonnie, but then again, that's just preseason. Walker showed on multiple occasions he could step up, particularly when DeRozan was out of the lineup. This season, he should have free rein to let loose in the second unit, and an improved Lonnie could even lead to him getting more starts this season.
Break-in 2. Jock Landale
Jock Landale might be an NBA rookie, but he's no stranger to being a valuable player on the court. If his impassioned interview earlier this season is to be believed, he's more than ready to give his all to show the world he belongs on the world's biggest basketball stage.
While his time in the preseason was cut short due to concussion protocols, he showed some impressive passing and rebounding in his limited time on the court. He's probably already the Spurs' most offensively skilled true center and has a 3-point shot to boot.
Gregg Popovich doesn't usually give rookies many minutes, but Landale is obviously not the typical rookie. He may be the third center behind Poeltl and Drew Eubanks to begin the season, but his skills make me think he could surpass one or even both before April with enough reps.
Break-in 3. Devin Vassell
In my "meteoric rise" rankings of the five youngest Spurs on the roster, I had many nice things to say about the recently extended sophomore, Devin Vassell. Yet another example of two-way talent, I have a feeling we'll be referring to the 21-year-old as the team's best defender within the next couple of years. Heck, he's already in the top four.
Vassell might still have more to prove to be in the Murray and White conversation defensively, but he already covers the most ground on that end of the floor of anyone on the team. He covers for the mistakes of others better than any other wing on the Spurs while also being an exceptional one-on-one defender. He's also just exciting to watch.
Devin's breakout is inevitable in my opinion, but he might need another season to refine his offensive skills to that of the more established guys on the team. Make no mistake, he'll be a full-time starter in Silver and Black eventually, though.