It looks like San Antonio Spurs forward Luka Samanic has been hitting the gym this summer. Weighing in at 227 pounds at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine, it's safe to say he's packed on some more muscle heading into his third season with the Silver and Black.
In a season full of uncertainty, Samanic is one of the biggest question marks on the roster. He's definitely shown me enough flashes to believe he deserves a real shot on the team, but Coach Popovich hasn't really given him that yet. Of course, Luka is still just 21 years old and was playing behind a more-deserving Devin Vassell and an established veteran in Rudy Gay.
At Air Alamo, we tend to think this is probably a make-or-break year for Samanic, who will be a team option for a 2022-23 season in which he'll be getting a $1.6 million raise. If his offseason conditioning is any indication, he's not taking the task lightly.
Here's how Luka looked during his rookie photo shoot in 2019.
On Friday, Dockery Basketball Academy shared this photo of Samanic working out with Bryn Forbes and Quinndary Weatherspoon.
In the picture, Luka looks stronger and more toned than ever. And it was nice of him to leave the shoes off to not tower over the rest of the guys as much.
"The Spurs drafted a 6-11, 19-year-old beanpole with face-up talent and spent the last two years helping him pack on muscle and grow his game, especially on defense," said Spurs digital content producer Tom Petrini. "I, for one, am excited to see year three Luka Samanic."
Now looking to firmly establish himself as a rotation player in Gregg Popovich's system, it'll be up to Luka to make the most of his minutes while he still can. Personally, I think he will.