Over/Under: San Antonio Spurs 2023-24*


Key Additions

  • Victor Wembanyama (draft), Cedi Osman (trade)

Key Subtractions

  • League Sympathy


  • Guards
    • Tre Jones, Devonte Graham, Blake Wesley
  • Wings
    • Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Malaki Branham, Cedi Osman
  • Forwards
    • Jeremy Sochan, Doug McDermott, Julian Champagnie
  • Bigs
    • Victor Wembanyama, Zach Collins

Random thoughts, opinions, comments, declarations, queries, editorials, etc.

*Scroll passed my Standings Prediction to see me wax poetic on my love for the Spurs, and my forlorn wishes for what could have been.

Last Year – Interesting Stats

  • 101.6 Pace was 1st in NBA (tied with Golden State)
  • 22-60 W/L record: ranked 29th of 30
  • 110.2 Offensive Rating: ranked 29th of 30
  • 120.0 Defensive Rating: ranked 30th of 30
  • 123.1 Opponents PPG: ranked 30th of 30
  • Keldon Johnson’s PPG each of his 4 seasons: 9.1, 12.8, 17.0, 22.0
  • Keldon Johnson is only 23 years old
  • Devin Vassell’s PPG each of his 3 seasons: 5.5, 12.3, 18.5
  • Devin Vassell is only 23 years old

Keys to Success

Improvement and consistent competition are their version of success (though I’m sure the Play-In is a nice thought), Vassell and Keldon prove to be the best young Wing tandem in the league, Tre starts hitting 3s, Wemby stays confident despite poor shooting and a target on his back, Branham and Wesley establish bench roles, McDermott is dangled for more draft compensation

Potential Obstacles

7’5” and 19 year old brittle bones, impatience

Hot takes

  • Wemby has the most blocks by a rookie since Manute Bol in ‘85-’86
  • Wemby finishes 2nd on the team in RPG & 4th in PPG
  • Keldon Johnson leads team in scoring
  • Jeremy Sochan sees legit time at PG
  • Wemby’s League Pass draw leads to Keldon Johnson becoming a household name



Instead of discussing last season or their offseason, I’d like to go on a little tangent here. More specifically, I want to present why I hate Kawhi Leonard.

When folks shit on the Warriors for attempting the 2 Timelines thing, they should have known this is what Kerr would have wanted to do, particularly after coming out of the Bulls’ and Spurs’ systems. Kerr, like Phil Jackson and Gregg Popovich before him, doesn’t believe in Tanking – losing on purpose for several seasons in order to hoard draft picks and hope/pray for a star. He believes in competing. Always. Every year. And in some years, you know going in that the odds are stacked against you, that other squads may have more talent. But it doesn’t matter. As a front office, and by extension, the head coach, you can’t look your players in the eyes and give them directions & expect them to obey to the best of their ability if they know the organization isn’t really trying to win, that the organization doesn’t really care about the current group of players, and that they’re only looking at them as trade assets to get draft picks for a future group of players. Kerr would never tell Steph, Klay, and Dray “Hey look, we’re not good enough this year, so we’re going to suck on purpose so we can draft guys to eventually replace you.” With this understanding, let’s look at the Spurs of the R.C. Buford/Gregg Popovich era.

The Spurs don’t tank. You may think they do, given their 22-60 record last year. But they never tanked. They had to trade Dejounte Murray and Jakob Poetl because they knew they weren’t going to be able to re-sign them. Had to get value for them rather than wait and let them walk in free agency. That’s not tanking. That’s just good business. Furthermore, though they haven’t been very good the past few seasons, let’s take a closer look:

  • 2021-2022: Made the Play-In. By definition, trying to make the playoffs. Not tanking
  • 2020-2021: Made the Play-In. Again, by definition, trying to make the playoffs. Not tanking.
  • 2019-2020: Finished 1.5 games out of the 8th seed (pre Play-In). Once again, trying to make the playoffs.
  • 2018-2019: Made the Playoffs (7th seed), led by DeRozen & Aldridge.
  • 2017-2018: Made the Playoffs (7th seed), led by Aldridge, Pau Gasol, & an aging Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. HOWEVER, this is the year Kawhi quit on the Spurs, playing in only 9 games and demanding to be traded. I’ll return to this season in a minute.
  • 2016-2017: Finished 61-21, the 2nd best team in the league behind the 67 Win Warriors. The Spurs were led by Kawhi, Aldridge, Gasol, Parker, & Ginobili. Their first season without Timmy, and they were a powerhouse. Had Dirty Zaza not slid under Kawhi on the corner 3, I believe the Spurs would have upset the eventual champion Warriors. Kawhi was the best player in that series – a series which included guys like Steph and KD, btw. 
  • 2015-2016: Spurs finished 67-14, 2nd again to the 73-win Warriors. One of the best teams of the last 20 years, they were led by Kawhi, Aldridge, Parker, Ginobili, and Tim Duncan’s last season. They were an extension of the Beautiful Game 2014 Spurs. This was LaMarcus Aldridge’s first year with the team.
  • 2014-2015: They finished as the 6th seed, led by the usual Kawhi, Duncan, Parker, Ginobili fellas. 
  • 2013-2014: Won the ch’ip over the Heat. The Beautiful Game Spurs.

I went through each of these seasons to show that, when Kawhi quit on the team, the Spurs were literally in the middle of successfully executing their FOURTH “2 Timeline” process, stemming all the way back to when the Admiral first passed the torch. Take a look at their 5 championship seasons:

  • ‘98-99: Best Players in order: David Robinson, Duncan, then Sean Elliott
  • ‘02-‘03: Best Players in order: Duncan, Stephen Jackson, Tony Parker & Ginobili
  • ‘04-‘05: Best Players in order: Duncan, Parker, then Ginobili
  • ‘06-’07: Best Players in order: Duncan, Parker, then Ginobili
  • ‘13-’14: Best Players in order: Parker, Duncan, Kawhi, then Ginobili

The torch was successfully passed from the Robinson-Duncan core to the Duncan-Parker-Ginobili core. And then it was passed to the Parker-Kawhi-Ginobili core. All three of those core groups of players won championships. And then they brought in Aldridge as Duncan retired and Ginobili was phased out. The next core was in place. The Dynasty was set to continue. No tanking required!. They had it. They were there. The Kawhi-Aldridge core would have carried the team forward as Parker aged and Ginobili retired, proving to the fans and the League that you don’t need to LOSE ON PURPOSE in order to build a winner. You don’t need to tank. But, alas, ‘twas not meant to be. Kawhi decided to quit on the team and demand to be traded. And that was that, for the Spurs Dynasty. That is why I’ll forever hate Kawhi.

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