Looking at the roster that San Antonio Spurs have right now, there are only a couple of players that have entered their primes. This means they would probably put up the same numbers as last season. Additionally, the rookies that the Spurs drafted outside the lottery might be in a contest for playing time.
The Spurs have an abundance of young talent coming into the 2022-23 NBA season. After their big off-season move of trading away star point guard Dejounte Murray, it was clear to people that the Spurs will be rebuilding. One big question for the upcoming season is which player will be taking their game to the next level.
Also, both Jakob Poeltl and Josh Richardson's contracts are expiring. Trading them in the middle of the season would be a logical move for the Spurs' front office. It'll also give the young players more playing time.
With that, the opportunity for the younger players to showcase their talents has become grand. Right now, many believe that both Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson will be making huge leaps statistically. Since Murray is gone, both wing players will be sharing the load for the team, especially on the offensive side of the court.
I believe that as well, and fans won't be surprised if that happens.
Tre Jones can prove he's a reliable backup point guard for the Spurs
When it comes to surprising everyone, the answer could just be Tre Jones. At 22 years of age, he's still young but has already shown that he has a ton of potential to be an integral part of the Spurs' young core.
Coming off a decent sophomore year, Jones has shown flashes of promise that can be useful for San Antonio. The 6-foot-1 player out of Duke only averaged 16.6 minutes per game the entire season. While his scoring average of 6.0 points per game was a bit mediocre, the Spurs saw his importance in the latter part of the season.
In the Spurs' last six games, Tre Jones took over the starting point guard spot for the then-injured Murray. Those games were impressive, as Jones was able to hold his own and also put up great numbers. Not to mention, he had a game where he posted 19 points and 11 assists when he first took over the role.
Throughout those six games, Jones averaged 14 points, 8.2 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 49% from the field and 37% from the three-point area. With Jones in the starting lineup, the Spurs had a 3-2 record. The 41st pick of the 2020 NBA Draft showed that he's capable of being a team player.
Looking at his game logs, it's obvious that he can perform at a high level when given more minutes. Gregg Popovich will likely give Jones a chance to see the floor more often and give him more than 20 minutes of playing time.
Jones doesn't have to start every game to be effective in their lineup. He just needs more than 16 minutes a game. With Joshua Primo looking to fill up the starting point guard spot, it looks like Jones may be the Spurs' sparkplug off the bench.
I wouldn't worry about his numbers in the three-point area as well. Last season, he only averaged 0.7 attempts from the perimeter. While that hurt his percentage from outside, that doesn't mean he isn't a reliable outside shooter. Looking at his stats, Jones can knock down 50% of his shots from deep whenever he attempts at least four threes.
However, he only had two games where he had four attempts last season. I could see him having a breakout year from downtown next season and being included heavily in the Spurs' game plan.
It's up to Pop on how he'll utilize the young guard. The way I see it, Tre Jones will show a significant improvement for the Spurs next season.