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SA Spurs: Why the bench unit could surprise us this season

Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Tre Jones
Lonnie Walker IV, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Tre Jones / Abbie Parr/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs
Josh Primo / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The Spurs' bench is deeper than it looks on paper

The Spurs also have a number of capable deep bench options including Tre Jones, Joshua Primo, Jock Landale, and Zack Collins. Tre Jones is a solid shot creator and defender and will have the chance to prove himself in spot minutes. While Primo, who was selected 12th overall in the 2021 Draft, has quickly proven himself to be a good shooter, a capable defender, and also has playmaking potential.

Landale was signed after playing in the NBL and, as a sharpshooting center, he could add a useful stretch five-element to the team. Collins, on the other hand, is a former lottery pick who failed to stay healthy during his time in Portland. Still, he has plenty of talent and should provide San Antonio with a skilled center off the bench once he's healthy.

With a deep bench, coach Greg Popovich has many lineup options to choose from and can mix and match. For example, during the preseason, he's experimented with playing Derrick White or Dejounte Murray with the second unit alongside Forbes, Walker, Vassell, and Young. That particular lineup has intriguing potential considering that it has three playmakers, several good shooters, athleticism, and solid defensive versatility.

Conversely, the Spurs should be able to hold their own when playing without starters with Forbes, Walker, Vassell, Johnson, and Eubanks. Although there isn't a proven scorer in that unit, Walker could still emerge as an offensive threat, as well as Vassell. While Forbes can get hot, Young can score off post-ups, drives, midrange jumpers, and floaters, and Eubanks can score effectively in the paint.