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San Antonio Spurs: Constructing the ideal 2021-22 bench unit

Patty Mills
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San Antonio Spurs
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San Antonio Spurs PF: Luka Samanic

If Luka Samanic didn’t prove himself in the G League last year, then this season will be the year he does it. Trey Lyles allegedly wants out, so Samanic can roam in the corner Vassell doesn’t want and also show some nifty European moves in the post.

Defense is not Samanic's strength but’s he’s put on a lot of muscle over the last calendar year so I suspect he’ll be wrestling down low for rebounds more and winning those battles. A bench unit needs to take risks, and Samanic was the 19th pick in the 2019 Draft. Of everyone picked in 2019, Samanic has played the 45th-most minutes. He simply has not had time to develop or improve because he’s never had a real chance to. 

If he plays and it doesn’t work, then, by all means, Popovich should replace him with Drew Eubanks, Gorgui Dieng, or Keita Bates-Diop. Hopefully, the Spurs don’t pursue Trey Lyles or Rudy Gay. Samanic is a great first option off the bench, in theory, it’s time to test it and see if he’s the big man of the future in San Antonio. So far, there isn’t enough evidence.