39 games into the season, and the San Antonio Spurs have given their fans nothing but an extreme roller-coaster ride. There have been low lows and dopamine-inducing highs from the eye-popping performances of Victor Wembanyama. The NBA is approaching the middle of the season, where teams have usually found themselves and are now working on tweaking the details during the stretch run. With the NBA trade deadline and All-Star Weekend approaching, there is much to take a look at.
Spurs trade rumors
The NBA trade deadline is February 8th. San Antonio's name has been in the news seemingly every day. It at least feels that way. The main name mentioned in conjunction with San Antonio is Dejounte Murray, indicating the Spurs are searching for a dynamic point guard to pair with Victor Wembanyama. Lately, reports have surfaced revealing Trae Young may be a possible get for the 210's only major professional team.
The fact that Coach Popovich and the front office went from trying Sochan at point guard to searching for an all-star-caliber floor general mid-season insinuates that Wembanyama may be better than they expected, accelerating their timetable. Look for the possibility of more aggression from the Spurs either at the trade deadline or during the off-season.
January 23rd–January 27th will mark the five-day stretch designated for the NBA's new Rivalry Week. Rivalries from the Bulls-Pistons to the Spurs-Lakers have been paramount to the elevation of the sport, and a large section of basketball fans have missed them. In an effort to bring some of it back, the league is introducing Rivalry Week, and San Antonio has three games during the event.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are first up on the 23rd, a fine matchup with plenty of excitement generated by a fresh rivalry and the two rookie giants setting the league on fire. Second are the Portland Trailblazers on the 26th.
This is a very confusing matchup when the Lakers, Mavs, Rockets, and Grizzlies exist. The excitement for this game through the lens of rivalry registers at one on a scale of ten. Lastly, the Minnesota Timberwolves on the 27th. Please see the criticism of the Trailblazers' selection because it is exactly the same. Do better next year, NBA.
The NBA rookie ladder has been releasing on Thursdays, so tomorrow an update will be published, and it is hard to believe there will be significant movement at the top. Last week, Wemby came in at number one. People are recognizing Victor's impact, and the fact that he is putting up insane numbers on a minute restriction bolsters his case, especially considering the recent skid from Holmgren.
There isn't too much that needs to be said about this. Looking at the above graphic, it is clear who has performed better recently, and most Spurs fans will tell you Wemby has been the more impressive performer all season long. The Rookie of the Year award will end up in Victor's possession where it belongs. The biggest question is whether or not Wembanyama will receive enough votes to get into the fast-approaching All-Star Game set for February 18th.
7-32 is nothing to be excited about, but fans of the Silver and Black should be elated nonetheless. When you are a seven-year veteran, you should be showing more than flashes, you should be showing consistency but with a team comprised of young players, the flashes they have shown should lead to huge anticipatory grins on the faces of the Spurs faithful followers. The future is as bright as a supernova close enough to burn a pie on the windowsill.
Update: Rookie rankings
NBA.com has released their rookie rankings a day earlier than anticipated, confirming Victor Wembanyama at number one for a second consecutive week. Click here to see the full list.