Not many San Antonio Spurs have had such meteoric rises as Keldon Johnson in recent years. From getting 17.7 minutes per game as a rookie to nearly 30 last season and winning an Olympic gold medal, it's been quite a ride for the 21-year-old. With an even bigger opportunity in 2022, Keldon's growth is likely to continue exponentially.
Of everyone left from last season's roster, Keldon was the team's third-highest scorer at 12.8 points per game and third-best rebounder at 6.0 per game. This season, everyone will expect him to build on that even further and become one of the guys everyone can rely upon for consistent, valuable output as one of the leaders of the team.
Still, not having a go-to scorer and clutch finisher in DeMar DeRozan anymore will certainly have a negative impact on the team for stretches. You're likely going to see several times in 2022 where San Antonio isn't quite sure who to go to in the final minute of a close battle and lose games because of it.
DeRozan's role as a facilitator also will be missed, as well as the attention he was able to draw as a legitimate scoring threat. Keldon will have to adapt to all of that while also accepting the role as one of the team's leading scorers and playmakers on a nightly basis.
With that said, let's get into what the 2021-22 season can potentially hold for the excitable young forward anxious to take that next step in his career.