Sit or Play: Which Spurs should see a shift in minutes after the All-Star Break?

By Noah Magaro-George
San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers
San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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The Spurs are departing the All-Star Break with the second-worst record in the NBA, and it appears their tank toward Victor Wembanayama will be full speed ahead. Several familiar faces exited the roster during the trade deadline. A handful of new names arrived in San Antonio. But how should Gregg Popovich manage minutes as the curtains close on the first season of an unfamiliar rebuild for the Silver and Black?

The Newbies

Devonte' Graham: Sit

Devonte' Graham suited up for nearly 30 minutes per game in his first four appearances with the Spurs. While San Antonio might have plans to mend his trade value by showcasing him on the hardwood, they can accomplish that goal without leaving their younger guards on the bench over the final stretch of a rebuilding season. Graham has utility as a sparkplug, and that skill should earn him a role near the end of the rotation.

Khem Birch: Sit

The sixth-year center has yet to debut since San Antonio acquired him at the trade deadline last week, but the team should keep Birch glued to the bench after their medical staff clears him for basketball activities. He was the odd man out for the Raptors before landing in the 2-1-0, and there are too many promising frontcourt prospects on this roster to justify playing a 30-year-old journeyman regular minutes.

Julian Champagnie: Sit

Though PATFO snagged Julian Champagnie off the waiver wire and inked him to their final two-way contract, there isn't much room for the rookie in the forward rotation. The 21-year-old rookie has intriguing defensive skills and untapped scoring potential. But it makes more sense for them to send him to Austin, where they can carefully monitor his progress and offer him a featured role for their G League offense.