San Antonio Spurs: Top 4 potential franchise cornerstones
San Antonio Spurs' Honorable Mentions
1. The Best player currently on the roster: Derrick White
Amid all the speculation about who will fill in for DeMar's playmaking presence now that he has departed, the simple truth is that the Spurs already had that guy last year in Derrick White. Derrick's 18.1 points and 3.9 assists per game last April when he was finally rounding back into form after injury don't begin to tell the whole story.
Derrick's 26-point, seven-rebound, and eight-assist performance sans-DeRozan may have come against a struggling Detroit team late in the season, but the Spurs' +31 differential with White shows just how impactful he is when he's on the court. The thing is, Derrick's not always on the court. Derrick's health struggles coupled with his comparably older age relative to the rest of the Spurs' core means the oft-injured White might be past his prime just as his teammates start to peak.
2. Spurs with the highest potential: Lonnie Walker IV and Josh Primo
As other Air Alamo pieces have discussed, these two players have vastly different styles but are generally regarded as the two Spurs with the highest ceiling of anyone on the team. Lonnie Walker has shown flashes of potential to be a dominant three-level scorer and top-tier defender once his skills evolve to match his elite athleticism.
The rookie, Joshua Primo, has shown similar potential, relying on the smooth jump shot expected of him as well as off the dribble and playmaking skills many did not realize he already had. Both of these guys present extremely high rewards but fall outside the top 3 because of the talent and consistency of the players ahead of them. There's also the possibility that Primo and Walker's similar upsides risk making each other more expendable.
3. The Reliable Paint Presence - Jakob Poeltl
Simply put, Jakob Poeltl is one of the most underrated centers in the league. He's a smart if overpassing roller with enough touch to take floaters and baby hooks when he gets cut off at the rim. He's also a beast on the offensive glass and at least a top 5 rim protector leaguewide. I'll be honest here, I personally see Jakob as a fifth keeper here - I don't want him wearing anything but the Silver and Black.