Earlier this year, with the 9th pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs selected the Polish-American Jeremy Sochan. Sochan played one year at the forward position at Baylor, and it’s easy to see why the Spurs selected him with their lottery pick.
Despite only playing 25.1 minutes a game in the 2021-2022 season, Sochan averaged 9.2 points and 1.8 assists per game. He has the potential to bring some much-needed playmaking and defensive versatility to the Spurs' roster.
Longtime Spurs fans might have an instinctual reaction to the draft and assume this rookie, like most in recent history, will be sent to Austin to play for the Spurs' G League affiliate. If we look at some of the more recent Spurs rookies, though, we’ll see a trend that should give fans hope that they’ll see their favorite new rookie suit up in San Antonio.
Recent rookie minutes could mean good things for Sochan
If we can rewind a few years to the 2019-20 season when Keldon Johnson was a rookie, he was allowed to play in 17 regular season games. Although most of Keldon’s opportunities occurred in the second half of the season, he was able to cash in on his opportunities.
Keldon ended the season with two 24-point games and showed everyone he was not only willing to shoot the three consistently but was averaging nearly 60% shooting from deep. The next season, Keldon started 67 games and continued to display growth in his game.
Devin Vassell should also give Jeremy Sochan hope that he will see the floor often in San Antonio. Taken with the 11th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, Vassell was given the opportunity to play 71 games with the Silver and Black.
Bringing energy and poise to the floor, Vassell only averaged 0.4 turnovers in his first season, which is a great start for a rookie looking for more minutes. Vassell continued to stay consistent in his minutes for the Spurs and was able to start in seven games.
To solidify feelings of optimism for Jeremy Sochan's chances of steady minutes, we can also look to 2021 draft picks Josh Primo and Joe Wieskamp. Primo, taken in the first round, got to play 50 games in San Antonio this past season. Wieskamp, drafted in the second round, saw the floor 29 times in San Antonio.
There's plenty of promise in Sochan's game, and if the trend holds, he'll be given plenty of time to showcase his talents.
Sochan being the Spurs' first draft pick in the top ten in more than a decade should lead to big things in his rookie season in the Alamo City.