Drew Eubanks must offer more defensive resistance
Although it's tough to do what Jakob Poeltl does defensively, Drew Eubanks might be able to win the backup big man battle if he manages to at least get close. So far, he hasn't really done that.
Where Eubanks struggles most is guarding bigger centers in the paint, which makes sense given his 6-9 size. Still, he has the body to hold his own down low more than he's shown, as he's often been left in the dust after fairly basic offensive moves.
Drew thrives in the open court and can wreak havoc on the glass, but if he can lean into his man more often and offer more resistance in the paint, he could still have a valuable spot on the team.
Thaddeus Young needs to decide if he's a 3-point shooter or not
A seasoned veteran of 14 years, Thaddeus Young is an interesting fit on this team. He doesn't fit the Spurs' timeline, but he has a variety of skills and veteran leadership to offer. While he's not a long-term fit, his newfound facilitating could be just what the Spurs need in the short term.
Within Young's game is a perplexing history of standout 3-point shooting mixed with seasons where he shot below 30%. Last year's campaign with the Bulls was one of his worst, as he made just 12 of his 45 attempts from the 3-point line for 26.7%. The season prior, he shot 35.6%.
With how many deadly shooters are now on the Spurs, I think it would be safe for Young to shelf his 3-point attempts or limit them to when totally open. Given his career-high 4.3 assists per game last season, he'd be much more valuable doing other things.
Bryn Forbes must offer as much on-ball defense as he can
I'm not going to sit here and say Bryn Forbes needs to become a great defender. He's 6-2, works hard on offense, and is a dead-eye shooter. We all know that's what he is, and the Spurs knew that when they brought him back.
That said, I'd be very surprised if Forbes is statistically as bad defensively as he was in his first stint with the team. San Antonio has a much better defensive roster than they did in Bryn's last season, where DeMar DeRozan or an aging LaMarcus Aldridge were frequently asked to cover up his mistakes.
This season, Forbes should have plenty of help from guys like Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, and Devin Vassell to help him on switches and cover up the lane when he allows blow-bys. Jakob Poeltl will be crucial in that role as well.
We know he'll never be a good defender, but Forbes must continue to make an effort when isolated, leading to what should be better defenders this time around to help him out.