What Can We Learn From This Saga?
Nothing really. The Spurs took a massive upside swing on a player with the 19th pick and missed. Keldon Johnson was taken in the same round with the 29th overall pick, and he is one hell of a consolation prize.
What this can signify, if you're the optimistic type, is the emergence of a new-look Spurs front office. They started the trend with Luka and continued the trend just two years later with the shocking selection of youngster Joshua Primo 11th overall in the 2021 NBA Draft. Luckily for the Spurs, Primo has shown out in almost every chance he's gotten and looks like an absolute steal of a pick while still sitting at the ripe age of 18.7 years old.
To some, the loss of Luka will leave a stain on the last few years. While it should go down as a general loss for the front office, it shouldn't be an indictment of everything else they have accomplished.
They got a great haul for DeMar DeRozan that netted them picks, Aminu, and Thaddeus Young. Free agents were signed that have genuinely made an impact so far (or expect to, with Zach Collins returning from injury soon), and the Spurs are generally in a great spot for next season when it comes to money.
Even with this stumble, the Spurs can dust themselves off and continue this marathon of a rebuild knowing they're stacked to the gills with young talent, have plenty of money, currently possess easily movable players, and seem to be headed in the right direction for the first time since the Kawhi saga.
It seems almost selfish at this point to ask for more from a front office that is treading uncharted waters for the first time in over two decades. Just pace yourself and remember to hydrate, Spurs fans.