After the recent departure of several key veterans in the offseason, it's abundantly clear that the San Antonio Spurs have entered a new era of basketball. Brian Wright and the Spurs front office clearly emphasized youth and general versatility this past summer and will be moving forward with a roster that is the youngest it's been in years.
With that in mind, it's understandable that fans and analysts alike may not have the highest of expectations for the Spurs coming into the 2021-2022 regular season. Although I think the Spurs will slightly outperform most of those expectations, I still have reservations of my own regarding the upcoming season.
Unfortunately, analysts that write for national media outlets do not share my sense of optimism with the young group of players the Spurs have put together. Recently, Bleacher Report's Andy Bailey absolutely butchered several re-drafts that had Dejounte Murray selected 11th overall, Keldon Johnson 24th overall, and Lonnie Walker IV out of the first round entirely.
Just as I was beginning to think that popular analysis of the Spurs couldn't get much worse, ESPN has managed to enter the proverbial chat and prove me wrong once again. Yesterday morning, they released the first half of their annual NBA top 100 rankings, and... well, they weren't good.
Given that we've had issues with these rankings in the recent past, I was already mentally preparing myself for some disappointing results, but ESPN may have taken those results to an entirely new level of absurdity this season. Here's why their rankings shouldn't be taken seriously.