Despite not making the playoffs, the Spurs have made huge progress during the NBA restart. From wins in close games, to finally handing the keys to the offense to young players, to a Derozan revival, there are many positives to take. Although an era of dominance has certainly ended, the signs from these past 8 games show San Antonio will be competitive sooner than we think.
One of the main pieces the Spurs can rely on is Dejounte Murray. When healthy, he is a guard who can create offense for others, defend at a high level, and rebound the basketball consistently. He will be a key cog for the Spurs young core, as he can control the tempo of a game as well as make life difficult for the opposing point guard.
Derrick White is emerging as a solid scoring option for San Antonio. He is a great shooter, and can get his own offense as well off the dribble. He had some moments in the playoffs last season, but over this restart has really begun to prove himself. He is going to be a very important wing player for the Spurs in the future.
Demar Derozan has been a huge bright spot throughout this restart for the Spurs. He is likely going to remain the teams leader into next season, and will be a huge mentor for the younger guys. He showed during the restart the maturity to play a secondary role on offense for most of the game, before taking over down the stretch. This is a great strategy for the team to have in place, to ensure their younger players are involved in the game enough to contribute.
Another big piece for this team is center Jakob Poeltl, the other asset from the Kawhi Leonard trade. He is simply a monster inside, with the ability to defend at the rim and alter shots, as well as rebound on both ends of the floor. He needs to expand his game a touch to add a bit to his offense, but he is certainly an exciting player for this team for years to come.
Now that he has finally experimented with the youth on his team, I see Poppovich doing great things with this team should he stay with the Spurs. He has always been excellent at developing players, and if the Spurs young core continue to show good signs, this may soon become an interesting destination for players around the league.