Untouchable Spurs report raises questions about Vassell's status

Recent reports indicate Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell are the San Antonio Spurs only untouchable assets. Should that be the case?
Victor Wembanyama, Devin Vassell
Victor Wembanyama, Devin Vassell / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Untouchable is a controversial word for fans. You'll seldom get large groups of people to agree on any one thing beyond the surface. The surface in this case would be the love for the team. All of Spurs Nation are passionate. There are even Victor Wembanyama detractors who believe his ceiling is lower than what's been projected. Contrarians will always exist, no matter the evidence presented to them. That's why flat-earthers exist.

At the very least, most will agree that Wembanyama is not someone you trade, so his status as untouchable is obvious. But when you look at the rest of the roster, you wonder who will be around long-term as San Antonio gears up for their re-introduction to high-stakes competition. Recent reports indicate that the front office views Devin Vassell as the only other player opposing teams can forget inquiring about on the roster.

Should Devin Vassell be untouchable?

The quick answer to this question is 'yes, for now.' Everyone wants to talk about the Spurs timeline, so when you look at when Vassell received his contract extension, you understand the organization's expectations for the Florida State Seminole. It's only been a year since the deal was made, and it was agreed upon after the acquisition of Victor Wembanyama, meaning they intend to make Devin and Vic a terrorizing twosome for the foreseeable future.

Early last season, Vassell frustrated fans with his shot selection and occasional disappearing act, but you must remember that he's still only 24. Young players are inconsistent. They always have been. In the second half of the season, as the players settled into their roles, he picked it up and began performing how everyone expected. He is the most offensively diverse player on the team outside of Wembanyama.

The facts can't be ignored, though. San Antonio clearly expected more last season. Finishing the year with the same 22-60 record as the previous season was not in the plans, which is why just about every player on the Spurs can be moved. It was an embarrassingly underachieving season.

Despite that disappointment, you can't pivot off Devin Vassell that quickly. The front office paid him because they saw extreme potential in the Georgia-born shooting guard. You need more than one year following the extension to evaluate a young player who is still years away from his prime. He's improved every season and if that continues, he can be a second or third option on a championship team but that will be up to him.