Spurs: 5 Shamelessly bold (but possible) predictions for the season

Oscar Barkis
Malaki Branham, San Antonio Spurs
Malaki Branham, San Antonio Spurs / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages
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4. Keldon Johnson scores 25 points per game

I’m jumping right from the least likely outcome for the 2022-23 Spurs team to the most. As most fans know, Dejounte Murray is now an Atlanta Hawk. The trade placed San Antonio squarely in the mix for the number one overall pick but also is why the youth on the team have such an opportunity this season.

In 2020, the Spurs had a top 40 guy in usage rate in DeMar DeRozan. Last year, Dejounte was in the top 30. I don’t expect anyone to come close to that list this year. The ball will be spread around quite a bit more in a return to the style of the "Beautiful Game Spurs” (though not even 1/100th as successful).

However, someone’s got to take over as the leader and primary option, and my money is on Keldon Johnson (not a bold take at all, I know). Keldon scored 17ppg on 47% from the floor and 40% from three last year. Those numbers all jumped post All-Star break—including nearly 21ppg—as he was given an expanded role.

Fresh off signing a big new contract and with improvements in a few areas (movement shooting and attacking closeouts, to name a couple), a four-point increase on his post-ASG per game number isn’t too hard to project. So why is this included in a bold predictions list? The Spurs haven’t had a player break 25 points per game since (brace yourselves Spurs fans) Kawhi Leonard in 2016-17, and before then it was Tim Duncan in 2001-02 (!!!). I think Keldon has a pretty good shot of hitting that mark this year.