Spurs: 3 Must-fix problems to address for 2022 NBA season

By Jon Soto
Gregg Popovich, Derrick White
Gregg Popovich, Derrick White / Ronald Cortes/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Derrick White / Dylan Buell/Getty Images

1. The San Antonio Spurs desperately need shooting

At this point, it’s like beating a dead horse but the Spurs need to improve their 3-point shooting. I don’t just mean percentage-wise either. I’m talking about volume. In the past three seasons, including this most recent one, the Spurs have finished in the bottom five in both 3-point makes and attempts. 

This season they decided to up the ante and finish dead last in both categories while converting on 35 percent of their shots from beyond the arc, which ranked 24th in the NBA. 

In the 2019-20 season, the Spurs converted on 37 percent of their 3-pointers which was good for fourth in the league, and in the 2018-19 season, they connected on 39 percent from deep, which led the league that season. 

San Antonio’s front office should prioritize filling the roster with players who are volume shooters. Guys who get shots up, who space the floor and open up driving lanes for their more athletic players, who struggle from deep. 

Because there is a chance the Spurs decide to lean into the youth movement, they might lose Patty Mills and Rudy Gay. The two veterans finished in the top four on the team in attempts from deep but will be unrestricted free agents this summer.

While a player like Mills is beloved by Spurs fans and is coming off one of his best campaigns as a pro, will the front office be willing to pay him the money he will demand? 

Chances are they’ll want to keep him around as a consistent bench scorer who is a veteran of coach Gregg Popovich’s system, but they have to be ready for the possibility Mills will leave for an opportunity to play for a contender. 

The Spurs may not be emotionally connected to Gay, but the 34-year-old forward just averaged 11.4 points per game on 38 percent shooting from three on 4.4 attempts. He won’t be easy to replace, especially for cheap. 

So, if the Spurs decide it’s all about the young guys moving forward, that’s fine. The draft and the G League provide valuable options to help shore up the 3-point shooting. The Spurs could also use free agency as a way to fill out the roster with floor spacers. 

There’s a world in which the youth movement in San Antonio is a fun experience and the team remains competitive. However, improved shooting will play a pivotal role in making that world a reality.