Spurs full 2024 offseason guide: draft picks, trade targets, rumors, & more

The San Antonio Spurs didn't progress in the win column this season, but Victor Wembanyama showed them he can change that quickly if they do their part.
San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers
San Antonio Spurs v Cleveland Cavaliers / Jason Miller/GettyImages
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This an extremely expansive and thorough postseason guide that I'll be updating throughout the summer. Bookmark as you please!

There's a different vibe in the Alamo City after the San Antonio Spurs' season came to an end. Yes, the squad endured a fifth straight losing season lowlighted by frustrating turnovers, poor shooting, and the third-worst record in franchise history. But by the time the season finale drew to a close to mark seven wins in 11 games, it was clear this organization had something it hadn't had in a while -- true hope.

After winning what may end up being the biggest draft prize across all sports before it's all said and done, there were two main things the Silver and Black needed to figure out this season.

Questions the Spurs had to answer this season

1. How quickly can Victor Wembanyama show he's the superstar everyone anticipated him to be?

2. Among the current group, who should they keep long-term to build around the French phenom?

It's safe to say Wembanyama answered the first question quite emphatically, particularly after the All-Star break. Not only is he likely to make the NBA All-Defensive First Team and finish second in Defensive Player of the Year voting, but many are already dubbing him the next face of the NBA.

Wemby's ascension was so loud and rapid that the conversation quickly switched from 'how can the Spurs tactfully but patiently build around him?' to 'how can the Spurs assure this man can win as much as possible ASAP?'

The next steps will ultimately fall on the shoulders of Brian Wright, Gregg Popovich, and the Spurs front office, and it sure doesn't sound like they're going to take the task lightly.

Between now and October, the Spurs front office will undoubtedly explore any and all possible options to ensure they do right by their newfound megastar. In case you've been living under a rock for the past few decades, it's important to preface this offseason primer by stating that San Antonio's front office is notoriously tight-lipped about its plans.

Still, there have been more rumors that ended up bearing fruit in recent years, such as the rumblings of the Dejounte Murray trade days before Wright pulled the trigger. Intel sometimes gets out there, and I have to believe insiders will be as nosy as ever with the emergence of the league's next big thing in South Texas.

Before jumping into all of that, though, let's set the table with how the 2023-24 season went for the San Antonio Spurs.

Spurs 2023-24 season record, stat leaders, strengths, weaknesses

Record

NBA Rank

22-60

26th

Category

Statistic

Place (NBA)

Off. Rating

110.0

26th

Def. Rating

116.4

22nd

PPG

112.1

23rd

PPG Allowed

118.6

24th

PPG leaders

PTS

Victor Wembanyama

21.4

Devin Vassell

19.5

Keldon Johnson

15.7

RPG Leaders

REBS

Victor Wembanyama

10.6

Jeremy Sochan

6.4

Keldon Johnson

5.5

APG Leaders

ASTS

Tre Jones

6.2

Devin Vassell

4.1

Victor Wembanyama

3.9

BPG

BLKS

Victor Wembanyama

3.6

Charles Bassey

0.9

Zach Collins

0.8

Biggest Statistical Strengths

• Assists - 29.9 per game, 2nd in the NBA
• Blocks - 6.3 per game, 3rd
• Pace - 101.1 poss. per 48 min, 3rd
• Free throws allowed - 20.5 per game, 6th

Biggest Statistical Weaknesses

• 3-Point Percentage - 34.7, 28th
- 31.4% on open threes (closest defender 4-6 feet away) - 29th
- 36.9% on wide-open threes (closest defender 6+ feet away) - Tied for 28th
• Free throws attempted - 20.0 per game - 28th
• Defensive rebounds allowed - 45.3 per game, 28th
• Turnovers - 15.1 per game, 27th

On the positive side, the Spurs utilized their trademark team basketball to the tune of 2,370 assists this season, which is a new franchise record. They were also one of the quickest teams in the association and used that to finish as a top-10 team in fastbreak points per game.

What stands out most about San Antonio's weaknesses is its 3-point shooting. It's one thing to miss contested threes (ironically, the Spurs were one of the better shooting teams in the league on those), but this team was toward the bottom of open threes missed all season long.

While the loss of shooting coach legend Chip Engelland certainly played a factor, this hints at a personnel problem that needs to be addressed immediately, especially as the Spurs look to focus their offense even more around Wembanyama going forward.

Was Victor Wembanyama frustrated with the Spurs in his rookie season?

This was a common question all season long. There were some interesting experiments that understandably frustrated the media and fans alike, most notably starting Jeremy Sochan at point guard for an extended stretch.

There was also a running theme across social media that the Spurs' supporting cast refused to pass to their star due to jealousy or wanting the national spotlight themselves.

Many also lamented that Victor was often put on minutes restrictions throughout the season, even after seemingly minor injuries. At season's end, he averaged 29.7 minutes per game and played in 71 of the season's 82 contests. Brandon Miller (32.2) was the only rookie who averaged more minutes per game.

The reality is none of those "storylines" had any basis in reality among the team. Knowing his maturity and patience, it's no surprise that Wembanyama fully understood everything the Spurs were doing to handle his unique debut season.

This was his response when asked about the "selfish teammates" argument:

When asked about his confidence in the Spurs' long-term plans, Victor didn't hesitate with his answer.

"I could start to see from people some doubts, but for me, never even one second have I doubted. At any point, I've never thought I wasn't in the best situation and in the best place."

Wembanyama went on to add, "They've been patient. Even though it's hard to be patient because we want to win right now, I think they've got things under control."

Key offseason dates for the San Antonio Spurs

From the Summer Olympics to the NBA Draft to free agency, the Spurs have a packed summer ahead.

April 21, 6:30 p.m. ET: NBA Award finalists announced on TNT

Update: Victor Wembanyama was named a finalist for NBA Rookie of the Year and NBA Defensive Player of the year.

So far, the NBA has announced when four awards will be announced:

Awards in which Wembanyama is in the running are listed in bold.

• Most Improved Player: Apr 23
• Sixth Man of the Year: Apr 24
• Clutch Player of the Year: Apr 25
• Coach of the Year: Apr 28
• Rookie of the Year: May 6, 7 p.m. ET (TNT) - Wembanyama is a lock to win this award.
• Defensive Player of the Year: May 7, 6:30 p.m. ET (TNT) - Wembanyama will likely finish second to Rudy Gobert.
• Most Valuable Player: May 8, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
• NBA All-Defensive First and Second Teams: May 20, 2 p.m. ET - Wembanyama will likely make the First Team.
• NBA All-Rookie First and Second Teams: May 21, 2 p.m. ET - Wembanyama is a lock to make the First Team.
• All-NBA First, Second, and Third Teams: May 22, 8 p.m. ET - Wembanyama is a longshot for the Third Team.

Update: Victor Wembanyama has been named Rookie of the Year.

Update: Victor Wembanyama finished second in voting for Defensive Player of the Year to Rudy Gobert.

Update: Victor Wembayama has been named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team and NBA All-Defensive First Team.

May 12, 3 p.m. ET: NBA Draft Lottery (on ABC)

Update: The Spurs moved to the fourth spot in the 2024 NBA Draft. Toronto's pick also landed 8th, meaning that pick will convey to San Antonio. The Spurs will be selecting 4th, 8th, 35th, and 48th.

May 12-19: NBA Draft Combine
In a draft class as wide-open as we've seen in years, this multi-day showcase could separate some standout names from the rest. Last season, much of the combine, including scrimmage games, aired on ESPN2.

June 17: Paris Olympics preparation
Team France reunites to train for the 2024 Olympics at the National Institute of Sport, Expertise, and Performance in Paris. Victor Wembanyama will play for the French national team at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, France.

Day after NBA Finals (TBD):
Teams can begin negotiating with own free agents.

June 26 (8 p.m. ET): NBA Draft 2024, 1st round
The Spurs will make their first-round draft selection(s).

June 27 (8 p.m. ET): NBA Draft 2024, 2nd round
This is the first year the NBA will air round two on a separate night. San Antonio will select 35th and 48th (via LAL).

June 29
• Last day a team/player option can be exercised.
• Last day teams can extend qualifying offers.

June 30 (6 p.m ET)
Free agent negotiations can begin with players not on their team.

July (dates TBD): NBA Summer Leagues:
This is where the Spurs' newly drafted players usually see their first floor time in a Spurs jersey. Other current players and NBA hopefuls also round out the roster. Last summer, the team included Victor Wembanyama, Dominick Barlow, Malaki Branham, Julian Champagnie, Sidy Cissoko, and Blake Wesley. There will be leagues in Sacramento, Utah, and Las Vegas.

In 2023, they played in Sacramento and Las Vegas.

July 1 (12:01 a.m. ET): Free agency moratorium
• First-round picks can be signed.
• Minimum contracts (2 years or less) can be signed.
• Teams can extend offer sheets, and restricted free agents can sign offer sheets.
• Third-year and fourth-year rookie options can be exercised.
• Two-way contracts can be signed and converted.

July 1: Devonte' Graham's $12.7 million contract becomes fully guaranteed.
$2.85 million of the contract is protected.

July 2-7: FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournaments
Despite needing season-ending surgery, Jeremy Sochan intends to play for Poland at the Paris Olympics, which will only be possible if they earn a spot in this tournament. Expect Sandro Mamukelashvili to suit up for Georgia at the same event. Only four of the 24 participating teams will qualify for the Olympic Games.

July 3-21: Team France preparation games
Victor Wembanyama, Rudy Gobert, and Team France will play in six preparation games leading to the 2024 Summer Olympic Games.

Date

Matchup

July 3

France @ Turkey

July 6

Germany @ France

July 8

France @ Germany

July 12

France @ Serbia

July 19

France @ Canada

July 21

France @ Australia

July 6 (noon ET): Free agency begins
Teams can officially sign free agents, trades can be made official, offer sheet time period begins.

July 12-22: NBA 2K Vegas Summer League
The Spurs aren't yet confirmed to participate, but they joined this league last summer.

July 27- Aug 3: Paris 2024 Olympic Basketball Group Phase

Three groups of 12 nations will compete for eight spots to advance to the quarterfinal stage. The top two teams in each group will automatically advance to the quarterfinals. The two best third-place teams will also move on.

Other outlets and services will likely air games, but the streaming service Peacock has stated it will air every sport and every event.

The groups are as follows (Poland and Georgia are in play for qualifier winner spots):

Group A
Australia
Canada
Qualifier Winner
Qualifier Winner

Group B
France
Germany
Japan
Qualifier Winner

Group C
Serbia
South Sudan
Qualifier Winner
USA

Team France Opponent

Date/Time

Latvia

July 27, 11:15 a.m. ET

Japan

July 30, 11:15 a.m. ET

Germany

Aug 2, 3 p.m. ET

Team USA Opponent

Date/Time

Serbia

July 28, 11:15 a.m. ET

South Sudan

July 31, 3 p.m. ET

Qualifier Winner

Aug 3, 3 p.m. ET

The knockout stage will begin with the quarterfinals on August 6th, with Game 1 at 5 a.m. ET, Game 2 at 8:30 a.m. ET, Game 3 at noon ET, and Game 4 at 3:30 p.m. ET.

The semifinals tip-off on August 8th at 11:30 a.m. ET and 3 p.m. ET.

The bronze medal game starts at 5 a.m. ET on August 10th while the gold medal game starts at 3:30 p.m. ET.

August 1:
Charles Bassey's contract becomes guaranteed ($2.5 million).

Late August (exact date TBD): NBA announces full preseason schedule
In 2022, the schedule was announced on Aug. 25. In 2023, it was announced on Aug. 30.

September 30 (estimated date): NBA Media Day

October 1: NBA training camps begin

October 21: Last day of the offseason
• Rosters set for opening day at 5 p.m. ET.
• Last day free agents can be signed-and-traded.
• Last day to convert an Exhibit 10 contract to a two-way.

Early October (dates TBA): NBA Preseason games begin
In 2022, the first preseason game was on Oct. 2. In 2023, the first preseason game was on Oct. 5 in Abu Dhabi. This season, the Nuggets and Celtics will be playing on Oct 4. and Oct. 6, which will likely tip off the preseason.

October 22: Regular season begins

The Spurs Roster: Free agents, surefire returnees, question marks

Unrestricted free agents: The player(s) can sign with any other team without the Spurs having the option to match and retain them.

Cedi Osman

Restricted free agents: The player(s) can sign with any other team. However, the Spurs can retain them by matching the offer sheet.

Sandro Mamukelashvili
David Duke Jr.
Dominick Barlow

Bet on them to return: Anything can happen in the NBA, so this is where I jump into educated guesses. Barring a sudden blockbuster trade, you can expect these players to return. Victor Wembanyama is obviously exempt from even being considered.

• Devin Vassell
• Jeremy Sochan
• Tre Jones

Very likely to return:

• Keldon Johnson
• Sidy Cissoko

Not guaranteed to return, but I'd be disappointed if they didn't:

• Sandro Mamukelashvili
• Blake Wesley

Question marks due to potential trades, waives, or free agency

• Zach Collins
• Devonte' Graham
• Malaki Branham
• Julian Champagnie
• Charles Bassey
• Dominick Barlow
• Cedi Osman
• David Duke Jr.

Two-Way contracts

• Jamaree Bouyea
• RaiQuan Gray

2024 NBA Draft prospects frequently mentioned as potential Spurs

First Round prospects

Reed Sheppard: 6-3 guard, Kentucky
Mentioned by: NBA.com, Bleacher Report

• Nikola Topic: 6-6 guard, KK Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)
Mentioned by: NBA.com

• Rob Dillingham: 6-2 guard, Kentucky
Mentioned by: SI, FanSided

• Matas Buzelis: 6-10 wing, G League Ignite
Mentioned by: The Athletic

Second Round prospects

• KJ Simpson: 6-2 guard, Colorado
Mentioned by: Bleacher Report

Pacome Dadiet: 6-8 forward, Ratiopharm Ulm (French-born)
Mentioned by: NBA.com

Spurs comprehensive 2024 NBA Draft pick odds

The Spurs are guaranteed one first round pick and two second round picks in June's draft. They will have an additional first round pick via Toronto if the Raptors' pick lands between 7 and 10. All of this will be determined on May 12.

Spurs complete draft picks from 2024 through 2030

Guaranteed picks in bold

2024
4th pick
8th pick (via TOR)
35th pick
48th pick (via LAL)

2025
• Own first
• First via ATL
• First via CHI if CHI lands outside top 10
• First via CHA if CHA lands outside top 14
• Own second
• Second via CHI
• Second via NO

2026
• Own first (can swap with ATL if ATL's pick is better)
• Second via UTA
• Second via OKC, DAL, or PHI (least favorable)
• Second via NO or POR (least favorable)
• Second via MIA, IND, or own pick
(SA can keep own if more favorable or swap for least favorable of above teams)

2027
• Own First
• First via ATL
• Second via OKC, HOU, IND, MIA, or own (SA can keep own if more favorable or swap for least favorable of above teams)

2028
• Own First (can swap with BOS if BOS pick is better)
• Own Second
• Second via NO
• Second via MIN
Second via DEN (if pick lands after 33)

2029
• Own First
• Own Second
• Second via NO
• Second via LAC

2030
• Own First (can swap with DAL if DAL pick is better)
• Own Second
• Second via CLE

San Antonio Spurs offseason rumors

Will Gregg Popovich return for a 29th season?

All accounts point to Coach Popovich returning for the 2024-25 NBA season. The legendary coach signed a five-year, $80 million contract in the summer of 2023. Turning 76 this January, he hasn't shown many signs of slowing down.

"I don't really picture him walking away," said Tre Jones in April. "He still has the same excitement every day - even more than I have seen in the past."

Victor Wembanyama has shared glowing words about Popovich all season long.

"He is there to poke on us sometimes or to correct us," said Wemby. "But the way my teammates and I have responded to all the advice, it's just been great and the dynamic is very good."

Moments after the Spurs' season finale, Popovich was already talking about the work ahead.

Will the Spurs make a big trade before next season?

The simple answer is no one really knows, but don't bet on it. The Spurs have never been an organization to rush into major moves that could hamper future spending and roster construction. Before the season began, GM Brian Wright spoke about the Spurs' rebuilding plans.

"We've learned you have to be patient. You don't want to put yourself in a position where you have to unwind a lot of mistakes where you move too fast. We want to continue to grow with this group. We know what this opportunity means for us, but we want to do it in a very deliberate, precise, and cautious way."

Of course, the otherworldly speed at which Wembanyama progressed this season has sparked conversations that the Spurs cannot afford to be as patient as they originally wanted to be. The main star that's popped up numerous times in rumors is Atlanta's three-time All-Star point guard, Trae Young. Though there are legitimate defensive concerns with the 25-year-old, he's also averaging 25.5 points and 9.5 assists per game through six seasons.

The closest thing to a credible rumor expressing San Antonio's interest was from a February column for the Ringer by Howard Beck:

"One exec said Atlanta discussed a potential Young trade with San Antonio before last week’s deadline."

Beyond that, most of the Trae talk has been closer to speculation than real rumblings.

Brian Windhorst makes two predictions about the Spurs' offseason

Longtime ESPN writer Brian Windhorst is mostly tapped into the Cleveland Cavaliers, but he has spent more time than usual around Wembanyama and the Spurs this season. On an episode of Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective Show, he predicted difference-making players may soon be tempted to team up with Wemby in the interest of forming a contending team.

Recent comments from Wemby himself seem to give some weight to that prediction:

Later in April, Windhorst went a slightly different direction, saying the Spurs likely aren't looking to make big moves or trades this summer. Instead, their main focus would be on the 2025 NBA Draft.

Local San Antonio media weighs in on likely Spurs plans

The San Antonio Express-News' Jeff McDonald, who's been covering the team for 17 years, had this to say about the Spurs' immediate plans:

"It is possible – though not probable – the Spurs dip into the storehouse of first-round draft picks they have collected and try to trade for a star to run alongside Wembanyama. More than likely, though, the Spurs will try to fill in around the margins, using their own draft picks this season and adding a few veteran role players via free agency."

From what I gather, the consensus is there are many ways to build around someone as special as Victor Wembanyama. Any and all opportunities will be explored this summer and beyond, and the team's new franchise face will certainly be involved (thankfully not fully to a player-GM extent).

“They know what they’re doing, but the truth is I don’t know,” Wembanyama said in a column by Spurs writer Mike Finger. “I’m still learning.”

As Finger states, Wembanyama and his advisors have full trust in the Spurs' front office and aren't requesting things like drafting specific players or trading for others. That said, the Spurs wouldn't be silly enough to make a major move without their star on board.

In an offseason episode of Small Market Bias, A Spurs Podcast, local Spurs writer Matthew Tynan discussed his thoughts on how the summer will go in San Antonio.

"When people ask me a question about 'speeding things up', I get the sense they mean making a big swing for someone like a Trae Young. In my opinion, it doesn't feel like that is the route they're going to take. Unless it's just a complete no-brainer, I don't think that's the route they're gonna go. "

Tynan goes on to add that he could see the Spurs getting more aggressive in the draft or with adding veterans to the roster in lieu of swinging for a superstar or star that may be overpriced.

"You don't want to do the panic thing. You don't want to get ahead of yourself. I don't think they're going to push things too fast," he said. "It's obvious they're going to be making some moves, but I wouldn't expect a giant trade or overhaul of the roster."

The San Antonio Spurs' offseason financial outlook

ESPN's Bobby Marks broke down the financial situation (subscription required) for the Silver and Black shortly after their season ended in April.

"Unless the Spurs are going to clear out significant salary, do not expect them to be a major player in free agency," stated Marks. "Because of their high lottery picks, San Antonio has less than $25 million in room."

If they only have their own first-round pick, the Spurs can create up to $24 million by waiving Devonte' Graham and Charles Bassey, whose contracts become guaranteed on July 1 and August 1, respectively.

If San Antonio operates above the cap, they'll have a non-taxpayer midlevel exception (MLE) of $12.9 million to use plus a $4.7 million biannual exception.

The non-taxpayer midlevel exception allows over-the-cap teams to add free agents as long as they don't dip below the cap to use cap space or go over the first tax apron. The MLE runs for up to four years with 5% annual raises.

A bi-annual exception follows the same rules as a non-taxpayer MLE but is only available to teams once every two years. Players can be signed for up to two years with 5% annual raises.

Which free agents should be in play for the Spurs this summer?

Much like everything else in the vein of Spurs rumors, the most I can do is throw out some names I've been hearing, but it's too early to have credible sources tying players to the team. With that said, let's jump into some candidates.

Darius Garland: 6-1 guard, Cleveland Cavaliers

Career Stats

Age

18.4 PPG / 2.6 TRB / 6.7 AST / 38.4 3P%

24

ESPN's Bobby Marks and Kevin Pelton both stated they wouldn't trade for Trae Young if they were San Antonio. Instead, they agreed they'd look closely at someone like Darius Garland.

Tyus Jones: 6-1 guard, Washington Wizards

Career Stats

Age

7.4 PTS / 2.0 TRB / 4.3 AST / 36.7 3P%

28

In the same ESPN column, Marks suggests the Spurs pursue Tre Jones' older brother if they're able to get him for a starting salary of around $15 million. The 9-year guard is an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Yahoo's Jake Fischer, who's been a credible source for years, has mentioned the Spurs and Tyus have had discussions in the past.

Although a smaller guard, Jones' world-class ability to take care of the ball could help stabilize a Spurs offense that finished 27th in turnovers per game and 30th in steals allowed per game last season.

Bruce Brown Jr.: 6-4 guard, Toronto Raptors

Career Stats

Age

8.9 PTS / 4.2 TRB / 2.5 AST / 33.7 3P%

27

On an episode of the Spurs podcast Small Market Bias, host Matthew Tynan and guest Trevor Zickgraf discussed the possibility of adding a six-year wing, Bruce Brown Jr.

"He has a club option of $23 million. He has not been very good in Toronto, so there's a chance he's a free agent," said Tynan.

“I’ve seen what he can do with that Denver team that had a unicorn. I would still look at him, for sure,” responded Zickgraf. “With him, I know I’m getting some secondary ball-handing and defense to go along with some theoretical good shooting.”

Caleb Martin: 6-5 Forward, Miami Heat

Career Stats

Age

8.5 PTS / 3.9 TRB / 1.6 AST / 35.7 3P%

28

Another player discussed on Small Market Bias was the five-year veteran forward, Caleb Martin.

“Caleb Martin has a player option for $7.1 million. I feel like he’s going to decline that,” said Tynan.

“If you can get that guy on a two or three-year deal on the mid-level or a little bit more, it beefs up your defense," replied Zickgraf. The shooting is more hot and cold, but then Champagnie becomes your backup wing – and he’s giant and pretty good on defense. I like the structure of the team we’re starting to build if you do that.”

As the season goes on, there will undoubtedly be more names that pop up on the Spurs' radar. I'll keep many of these categories updated as more develops over what will be a fascinating summer in the Alamo City.