Luka Samanic's future with the San Antonio Spurs is at stake
Were everything to go well this season, Samanic could be well on his way to reaching his high ceiling. Conversely, an underwhelming season could cause San Antonio to lose faith in his potential, possibly putting his time with the Spurs or even his entire career in jeopardy.
It was always likely that Samanic would be a long-term project. That said, the track record of former first-round picks with limited production in their first three years, and who go on to become good players, is small. With that in mind, if he were to fail to impress next season, he would still be under contract for another year and would only have one last opportunity to prove himself.
However, Samanic may have to compete with another player brought in to help address the role of backup power forward. Were he to fail to win that role, it likely wouldn’t bode well for his career. The Spurs could then opt not to extend him a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent in the 2023 offseason, effectively ending his career as a Spur.
There are bound to be rough stretches for Samanic next season, but he certainly has the talent to become a very good NBA player. In the meantime, Spurs fans will have to remain patient to see how well he will perform this coming season. That said, no matter what, next season is a make-or-break year for Samanic.