The San Antonio Spurs haven't made the headlines recently, but that doesn't mean people should sleep on them. Their young roster is enough reason people should tune in to Spurs games this season.
One of their young and upcoming leaders, Devin Vassell, has shown promise during his first two years. Devin Vassell is entering his third season in the NBA and has steadily improved as a player. As a forward for the San Antonio Spurs, Vassell has made waves as one of the cornerstones of the young squad. Last season, he made vast improvements to his game that proved valuable for the Spurs. The 6-foot-5 swingman became a reliable three-and-D player who complimented well with Keldon Johnson.
It was also evident that head coach Gregg Popovich is confident in Vassell's improving skillset. During the forward's sophomore season, he had an increase in minutes (from 17.0 to 27.3) that allowed him to be more involved in Pop's system. It also led to him starting more games than his rookie season with 32.
Devin Vassell's improvement has given him more offensive responsibilities
According to an article by LJ Ellis, Devin Vassell is looking to have a sizable role in the team's offensive schemes. In his first two seasons, the Spurs' forward was used more as a catch-and-shoot threat from downtown. He's done an exceptional job being an outside threat, knocking down 35% of his shots from the three-point area.
Offensively, the team relied heavily on the former lottery pick's off-ball abilities. However, Vassell will have more responsibilities in the offense as he enters the 2022-23 NBA season. In the article, Ellis explained how Vassell have shown improvement as an on-ball shooter. Additionally, he's been improving as a facilitator on pick-and-roll situations. It has also allowed him to be a more aggressive rim-attacker.
"He’s [Vassell] also exhibiting promise as a facilitator in pick-and-roll situations and his explosion at the rim is notably improved," Ellis wrote.
It might be an experimental move on the Spurs as they have recently traded Dejounte Murray over the summer. Their lack of a fixed floor general may be the reason why Popovich incorporated Vassell as a pick-and-roll operator. Based on the scrimmages seen during their training camp, the team will rely on him to make opportunities for himself and the team when needed.
Vassell has also been extra aggressive in attacking the rim. He has an advantage in bullying his way to the rim. During the offseason, the young forward has put in extra work in the weight room. His aggressiveness on the drive could mean an increase in scoring options for him. With various options, Vassell could work his way as one of the top scorers for the team this season.
Despite the team's goals, the young forward is taking on a bigger leadership role. With the starting spot in his grasp, Devin Vassell will surely take over the 2022-23 season.