San Antonio Spurs: Predicting next season's starting lineup
The San Antonio Spurs will enter the 2021-22 season looking a bit different. With several key players entering free agency, the rotation (and the starting lineup in particular) is likely to change. While there will be some carry-over from last season, there will also be some notable differences.
Without further ado, here is my projected Spurs starting lineup for next season.
San Antonio Spurs Point Guard: Dejounte Murray
Dejounte Murray will enter next season not only as the Spurs starting point guard but possibly the best player in the starting lineup. In his fifth season, Dejounte displayed significant improvement as both a scorer and a playmaker, averaging 15.7 points and 5.4 assists.
With the ball in his hands more, Murray could make yet another leap forward next season, particularly as a scorer. To make that leap, Dejounte will need to continue to attack in transition, get to the free throw line more, and improve as a 3-point shooter.
On defense, Murray's ability to lock down opposing guards and play the passing lane to force turnovers will be key to the Spurs improving on that end. Ultimately, Dejounte's scoring, play-making, rebounding, and defense make him an ideal fit for the starting lineup.
San Antonio Spurs Shooting Guard: Derrick White
Derrick White is likely to start at shooting guard and should play a vital role next season. With DeMar DeRozan possibly departing in free agency, San Antonio will desperately need ball handling, play-making, and scoring in the starting lineup.
Fortunately, White can help fill that void by providing all three skills. As a playmaker and ball-handler, Derrick’s proven himself to be a good passer (particularly in the pick and roll), with relatively few turnovers.
As a scorer, White’s shooting will also be key to the team’s success. After all, Derrick led the team with 6.8 three-point attempts per game and may be asked to take even more due to the team's lack of shooting. Additionally, White can create mid-range jumpers and floaters for himself or finish at the rim, making him a well-rounded offensive player.
On the other side of the ball, Derrick has lockdown defensive ability. When paired with Murray, they have the potential to be the best defensive backcourt in the NBA. Overall, Derrick’s two-way ability makes him a perfect fit for the starting lineup.