Dunk Contest: Devin Vassell (3)
Romeo Langford has gotten some playing time recently and has shown real athleticism around the rim. Outside of him, Sochan, and Vassell, I’m not sure that another Spur with consistent minutes can do much more than a simple one-hand flush. Sochan has already been picked for another contest, and Langford doesn’t garner nearly enough attention to get picked for something like ASW, hence the selection of Vassell here.
I think longer-term, Vassell has the potential to be an All-Star regular and may flirt with All-NBA-level seasons. For now, he’ll have to settle for the dunk contest, in which I think he could lift his recognition league-wide (which is something that he apparently needs to do, according to the blasphemous results of this Twitter poll from NBA University). As far as Devin’s actual dunking ability goes, I’ll let the highlights speak for themselves:
All-Star Game: Keldon Johnson (4)
Keldon’s slumped quite a bit in the last 10-15 games, which is probably too long a stretch for him to come back from and still receive serious All-Star buzz. That means almost nothing long-term, as he has shown that he has the ability to comfortably be the third (ideally, fourth) best player on a real playoff team. Hell, if I’d told you two years ago that KJ would be getting consideration for a 3-point contest berth, you might have checked me into a hospital.
It would still be awesome to see someone representing the Spurs in a second consecutive ASG. Because I’ve already given plenty of Keldon thoughts, I want to give a quick shoutout to someone else that I contemplated here— Jakob Poeltl. LJ Ellis reported recently that Jak is in a lot of trade conversations. He’s valuable! He’ll never have the counting stats for this, but as he showed in a recent game against Portland, he puts up numbers when he’s given an opportunity.
I really hate to be a downer and say that the likeliest outcome is that no one wearing Silver & Black will be in Salt Lake City in mid-February. That’s what happens when you’re a small-market team and simultaneously are one of the worst teams in the League. The positive spin here is that all of the guys I listed are large pieces in the Spurs’ future. A few have a greater than zero chance at All-Star selection sometime in the future.
Gotta take the wins when you can. Not on-court wins though, we’re racing for Wemby!