Times are tougher than San Antonio Spurs fans are used to, but with the right moves, they don't have to remain that way for long.
By the end of the 2021 season, the front office should have a better idea of who they deem worthy of building the roster around and who is expendable to get the most out of a continued offseason rebuild. The Spurs will be in one of the better shapes in the league in terms of cap space and can use that to address some holes in the roster as the chosen few continue to evolve their games.
Spurs GM Brian Wright made a lot of moves last summer to open up better possibilities for the future, and that should begin paying off as immediately as the 2022 NBA Draft and pending free agency. With that said, I turned to our followers on Twitter to see what kind of lineups they would like to see in a few years if all goes well in the Alamo City.
"Give me your semi-realistic ideal starting lineup for the San Antonio Spurs in 2024," I said to Spurs fans. Here's what some of you came up with.
Josh Primo, Devin Vassell, Paolo Banchero, Jakob Poeltl, Dejounte Murray
The first response comes from a user named @UnfazedWil and hopes for Duke standout Paolo Banchero to be selected by the Spurs in the 2022 NBA Draft. As it stands now, that isn't totally out of the realm of possibility.
Banchero is widely expected to go first or second in next year's draft and the Spurs have the sixth-best odds of moving up to first with 9%. They also have a 37.2% shot at moving into the top four. I can't see a reason Banchero drops out of the two top prospects next year unless something drastic happens.
Joining Banchero would be the familiar faces of Dejounte Murray, Devin Vassell, Jakob Poeltl, and Josh Primo in the starting lineup, with Poeltl being the oldest of the bunch at 30.
Interestingly, some variations close to this lineup were repeated throughout our replies, with one of the frontcourt spots often being overtaken by whoever the Spurs draft next year.
Murray, Vassell, Primo, Johnson, Jalen Duren
"Dejounte, Devin, Primo, Keldon, Jalen Duren?" said @allenyan2144. This lineup would have Poeltl either gone or as the backup big man to Jalen Duren, who is currently averaging 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game for the Memphis Tigers.
Murray, Primo, Vassell, Jabari Smith Jr, Jakob Poeltl
User @nahchito hopes the Spurs move up from their current draft spot to take Auburn power forward Jabari Smith as their big of the future. The freshman is putting up 17 points and pulling down 7.2 rebounds per game for the 9-1 Tigers.
Our own Jonah Kubicek, who never shies away from being ambitious, had a starting lineup that was outside of the box.
Murray, Primo, Vassell, Bol Bol, Deandre Ayton
Perhaps half serious and half being facetious, Kubicek quips the Spurs might still be playing their 2022 NBA Draft pick in Austin, clearing room for a prize big in Deandre Ayton and a player he finds underrated, Bol Bol.
Still, Jonah keeps the trio of Murray, Primo, and Vassell intact in his starting lineup, something that 100% of responders did.
It's clear that many Spurs fans believe Dejounte, Josh, and Devin will be important parts of the team's future, and I can't say I disagree with them.