Immediate bench contributors
This is where things start to get exciting. Here were looking at Anthony Black, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Kobe Bufkin, Jordan Hawkins, Cam Whitmore, Dereck Lively II, Gradey Dick, Cason Wallace, Taylor Hendricks, Bilal Coulibaly, and Jarace Walker.
This is the sweet spot for a rookie to be in. These guys will have the flexibility to play through mistakes, contribute on a nightly basis, and show flashes of brilliance, but no one should be expecting them to save a franchise in their first season. A lot of these players could end up in the starting rotation by season's end but most will start in a bench role as the seventh or eighth man.
Out of this group, Whitmore, Walker, and Coulibaly excite me the most. Whitmore's slide to the Houston Rockets was a real head-scratcher on draft night, one that could come back to bite Spurs fans for years to come. The injury concerns are understandable, but damn did he look explosive in the Las Vegas Summer League.
As a San Antonio Spurs fan it pains me to say this, but with Whitmore, Jalen Green, Amen Thompson, Jabari Smith Jr., and Alpren Sengun the future in Houston looks very bright.