San Antonio Spurs forward Devin Vassell could take on a much larger role in his second season after emerging as a consistent rotation player during his rookie year. Vassell was selected 11th overall in the 2020 NBA draft and made an immediate impact last season, particularly on the defensive end due to his size, length, and defensive instincts.
On offense, nearly half of his shot attempts came from beyond the arc, and he connected on 34.7% of them. Considering that he has the makings of a high-level two-way player, perhaps his skills could be best utilized in the starting unit where the Spurs have a hole in the wake of DeMar DeRozan's departure.
Regarding himself and the other young Spurs players, Vassell recently went on record saying that "it's [their] time," and that fans will "see a different Devin Vassell coming into the season." It's abundantly clear that Vassell has high expectations for both himself and his teammates, and the logical next step in his career will be to break into the starting lineup.
With Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, Keldon Johnson, and Jakob Poeltl seemingly set as starters next season, there is still an opening for Vassell to join the starting lineup at the small guard position. With training camp starting today, followed by the preseason coming shortly, he has the perfect opportunity to prove that he is ready for an increased role.
Here is how Vassell can make his own case as to why he needs to start for the Spurs, and why I think he's already deserving of that starting role.