San Antonio Spurs: Predicting next season's starting lineup

Cal Durrett
San Antonio Spurs Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White
San Antonio Spurs Keldon Johnson, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs Keldon Johnson / Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs Small Forward: Keldon Johnson

Keldon Johnson will likely start at small forward next season and appears poised to have a big year. The 21-year-old has made solid strides forward on both ends of the floor since being promoted to the starting lineup during his rookie season.

Johnson averaged an impressive 12.8 points and 6 rebounds per game this season, but still has plenty of room to grow as a player. He'll need to improve as a 3-point shooter and add a mid-range shot or floater when he can’t get all the way to the rim. That said, with a full offseason of work, Keldon could implement these changes into his game by next season.

On the defensive end, Johnson proved solid, though he still has a ways to go before reaching his full potential. That said, with Keldon starting at small forward, the Spurs will have the luxury of having three good perimeter defenders. With Johnson starting next season, San Antonio should be solid on both sides of the ball.

Lauri Markkanen
Oklahoma City Thunder v Chicago Bulls / Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

San Antonio Spurs Power Forward: Lauri Markkanen

With significant cap space in free agency, the Spurs may seek to upgrade at power forward. Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen could be one of several targets but is perhaps the one most likely to join the team. Markkanen could immediately help the Spurs starting lineup by providing a high-volume 3-point shooter and scoring, two things that are desperately needed.

Over his four-season career with the Bulls, Lauri averaged an impressive 15.6 points but had a career year shooting the ball this season. The 24-year-old connected on 38 percent of his 6.8 attempts, both career highs. Considering San Antonio ranked last in the NBA in 3-point attempts and 24th in three-point percentage, Lauri's shooting could make an impact.

On the defensive end, Markkanen has certainly struggled thus far in his career. That said, he may benefit from playing for coach Gregg Popovich, who has a history of helping players improve enough to become passable on defense.

Lauri would also be playing alongside have four-plus defenders, allowing him to hide more easily on that end of the floor. All in all, Markkanen would be a solid addition to the starting lineup.

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