When will Devin Vassell come back from injury?
Gregg Popovich told reporters the Spurs are optimistic Devin Vassell could return from his long stint on the injury report sometime soon after the All-Star Break during his pregame press conference on Wednesday night. The annual midseason spectacle begins this weekend, giving San Antonio and their players eight days to heal any lingering physical ailments.
Though the 74-year-old head coach didn't provide a precise timetable or date for when fans can expect Vassell to rejoin the rotation, it sounds like he will be back on the court in late February or early March. The 22-year-old shooting guard underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left knee on January 12, and local media has spotted him ramping up his activities over the last couple of weeks.
How will Devin Vassell impact the Spurs' chase for last place?
San Antonio heads into the All-Star Break on a franchise-record 14-game losing streak at 14-45, with sole ownership of second-to-last place in the NBA. Their lousy stature in the league standings means they are tied with Houston and Detroit for the best lottery odds to land Victor Wembanyama with the number one overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.
Though their 14% chance of tying the knot with a once-in-a-lifetime rim protector and organizational centerpiece might feel safe with how poorly the Spurs are performing, a few wins could sway the ping-pong balls out of their favor. So should fans be worried about Vassell returning?
The third-year swingman was enjoying the best season of his career until hitting the sidelines, averaging 19.4 points, 4.0 boards, and 3.6 assists per game on solid .445/.404/.793 shooting splits as the second option for San Antonio's offense. But for all his individual production, the Spurs still went 8-21 when he suited up.
Don't sweat over whether Vassell will push the Silver and Black out of the race for Wemby. They were already in the thick of the lottery-bound clubs when he shared the floor with better teammates like Josh Richardson and Jakob Poeltl, who have since departed for greener pastures. PATFO are in all-out developmental mode, and Vassell should get in on that ASAP.