San Antonio Spurs: Play, sit, or let go, 2022 edition
Drew Eubanks, C
As the backup center for much of the season, Drew Eubanks had a career year across the board and provided plenty of highlight plays for the Spurs. There were times he showed flashes of being a starting-caliber center in the NBA.
Unfortunately, the Spurs already have a better center that shares a skill set with Drew in Jakob Poeltl. There's still a place in the NBA for a big man that can patrol the paint and battle on the boards without being able to shoot. I don't think the Spurs can get away with having two such players any longer.
Ideally, the Spurs will draft an athletic 3-and-D type to develop or even poach a free agent or two to fill a big man role that's built more for the modern NBA. Drew is still under contract until 2023, but I wouldn't be surprised if his role diminished next year.
Devin Vassell, SF
If you do a Google simple search for Air Alamo, Devin Vassell, you'll see just how high I've been on the 20-year-old from the day he was drafted. Not only has he shown remarkable poise and control as a rookie, but he also has the character of the typical Spur.
While his outside shooting fell of a bit to end the season, Vassell still finished the year with a respectable 34.7 percent mark from deep. More importantly, Devin displayed excellent defensive instincts and often played like he was the most experienced defender on the court.
I've said Vassell will be a key piece on this team for years to come, and nothing that happened this season has changed my mind about that.
Derrick White, SG
If the final stretch of the season didn't convince you how important Derrick White is to the team, I don't know what to tell you. The Spurs finished the season with an 18-18 record with White in the lineup and went 15-21 without him
White is the team's best two-way player and probably the best shot-blocking guard in the Association. He's also crucial to the Spurs' ability to spread the floor, as he isn't afraid to fire away from deep to a 35 percent clip.
The Spurs' front office has made a lot of mistakes in recent years, but signing Derrick to a 4-year, $73 million extension wasn't one of them.