San Antonio Spurs: 5 Exciting preseason storylines to watch
By Josh Paredes
2. Who will establish themselves as "that guy" early on?
While the preseason might be a little early to see a true leader among a young core arise, it'll still be fun to see who is ready to go from day one in San Antonio. The Spurs and players themselves have been sharing updates about the team's training via social media for the past few days, but now it's time to see whose work is really going to pay off.
The clear candidates for being "the man" in San Antonio for the long term are Dejounte Murray and Derrick White. Both are two-way players, meaning they should still be effective even on poor shooting nights. Their aggressiveness on both ends can also set the tone for the younger group.
Fresh off an Olympic gold medal, Keldon Johnson will also be one to watch when it comes to stepping up in a time when the Spurs need all hands on deck all year.
Perhaps someone like Lonnie Walker or Devin Vassell will show they're ready for a bigger stage sooner than expected? Only time will tell. But speaking of Vassell...
3. Who is this "different Devin Vassell" we're all about to see?
Having an effective all-around game usually translates to a long NBA career, and Devin Vassell has just that. While defense has been his specialty early on, let's not forget he was shooting nearly 39% from the 3-point line until a final-month slump brought him back down to 34.7 in his rookie year.
What sets Vassell apart from other 21-year-old players is his natural instinct. He just knows how to play basketball and do it with relatively few mistakes. Gregg Popovich has raved about the 6-5 forward often, with the latest being for Vassell's edition of Spurs Stories.
"He's got the tools to be a wonderful player with his length, speed, agility. He's got all the elements there," said Popovich.
While Vassell already showed a lot in limited minutes last season, his Summer League revealed even more additions to his game, like the ability to create his own shot and nail mid-range jumpers. As he put it in his video, a lot of fans will see "a different Devin Vassell" coming into the season.
I'm excited to see what year two brings for one of my favorite pure basketball players to watch in the league.