San Antonio Spurs Option C: Trade DeRozan, Samanic, 12th pick for Ben Simmons
This option surprisingly finished last in the Twitter poll, but the simulation shows the people might be wrong. The second-best result of the five scenarios involves the acquisition of three-time All-Star Ben Simmons. One note before we dive in, the simulator signed Torrey Craig to fill out the roster, which I think is a great call. Let's take a look at how this team did.
Simulation C Roster
Record: 46-36 (7th in the Western Conference)
Top 5 Performers
1. Ben Simmons: 22.7 PPG, 6.7 RPG, 7.2 APG
2. Dejounte Murray: 18.7 PPG, 6.1 RPG, 6.2 APG, 1.5 SPG
3. Lonnie Walker: 13.6 PPG, 2.0 RPG, 2.1 APG
4. Devin Vassell: 13.1 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.0 APG, 1.0 SPG
5. Keldon Johnson: 12.7 PPG, 4.2 RPG, 1.7 APG
Devin Vassell - NBA Most Improved Player
Ben Simmons - All-NBA Defensive First Team
5th-best in points allowed per game
30th in 3PA per game
26th in 3P%
2nd in points in the paint
2nd-best opponents' FG%
A decent season ends in disappointment
While 46-36 doesn't exactly scream THE SPURS ARE BACK, it's certainly a turnaround from the last couple of seasons. Ben Simmons leads the team to 10 games above .500, earning his third All-NBA Defensive team selection in the process.
Devin Vassell shines here too, earning the NBA Most Improved Player award, making him the only other Spur to do so after Alvin Robertson in 1986. Despite his increased role and the signing of Torrey Craig, the Spurs still struggle from the perimeter in both attempts and percentage.
San Antonio's seventh-place finish in the standings led to a first-round matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers, which they promptly lost in five games. Not quite a massive turnaround season, but still a step in the right direction.