After a streak that saw the San Antonio Spurs lose 16 of 17 games, they have since bounced back and are currently on a three-game win streak, dispatching the Rockets, Heat, and Cavaliers. The first game, against Houston, was one of those “someone has to win” games, but the victory over the Heat and Cavs were rather shocking, even if both came down to the wire.
The college season is proving to be the litmus test for the potential draft prospects, with Dariq Whitehead falling and other wings showing signs that they could slide into the top five come draft day. The Spurs, despite recent success, have their eyes set on ping-pong balls.
San Antonio Spurs News
The Spurs waived Alize Johnson, but fans of his shouldn’t fear. It’s unlikely that another team will pick him up, so he will probably head to Austin and continue to improve in the G-League. Despite rumors that the Spurs were interested in adding Isaiah Thomas, they opted for a different veteran instead. Stanley Johnson, an underperforming free agent wing, joins the Spurs at age 26. He is an athletic wing who struggles to make the three ball, but he is a solid ball handler who could play meaningful minutes behind Josh Richardson, Keldon Johnson, and Devin Vassell.
The signing indicates that Doug McDermott or Richardson could be on the move. Filling out another roster spot is less than ideal, but if the Spurs get a point guard or big back, then having a backup forward in the rotation is not a bad thing.
Of course, this means that the Spurs will not have the roster space to add a bad contract, which could improve a pick coming in with a possible trade. I don’t expect the Spurs to make any blockbuster moves, but small deadline deals could be imminent.
News Around the NBA
Outside of San Antonio, the Pistons continue to run their own tank. They are fielding calls for their best shooters, and former #1 overall pick Cade Cunningham is sidelined for the season with shin surgery.
Zion Willaimson and the Pelicans have been on a tear, and he now sits in the tenth position on the MVP ladder. Expect him to soar even higher in the rankings as the Pelicans sit atop the Western Conference and have won seven straight.
Finally, the NBA is renaming its end-of-season awards. The MVP will receive the Michael Jordan Trophy, ROTY will receive the Wilt Chamberlian Trophy, the Most Improved Award is named after George Mikan, DPOY wins the Hakeem Olajuwon Trophy, Sixth Man wins the John Havlicek Trophy, and the newly added Clutch Player of the Year will win the Jerry West Trophy.