Bates-Diop told Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News (via Twitter) that he’s looking forward to the competition of training camp and expects that it won’t be easy to make the final 15-man roster, although his salary being fully guaranteed for the upcoming season is an indication the team likes him. Still, since San Antonio now has 17 players on guaranteed contracts, the situation is worth monitoring.
There’s more from San Antonio:
- The Spurs announced in a press release that Matt Nielsen has been named an assistant coach for the team after serving as the head coach of their G League affiliate, the Austin Spurs, last season. Nielsen, a native of Australia, had a lengthy playing career in the NBL and then later in Europe prior to becoming a coach. He served as an assistant coach for the Australian National Team at the Tokyo Olympics this summer, where the Boomers won the bronze medal.
- Zach Harper of The Athletic provided a thorough breakdown of the Spurs’ offseason, including a grade of their roster moves. Harper posits that San Antonio is officially in rebuilding mode and got significantly worse on the wing with the sign-and-trade of DeMar DeRozan to Chicago. DeRozan had one of the best and most efficient seasons of his career last year, and losing him leaves the team without a clear All-Star caliber player.
- Harper notes that the onus will be on the team’s young core of Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Derrick White, Lonnie Walker IV, and Devin Vassell to show significant growth in order to make the play-in tournament again. He thinks selecting Joshua Primo 12th overall in the draft was a reach, as no other teams rated him as highly as the Spurs.
- Harper did like team’s acquisition of Thaddeus Young, considering him a clear upgrade over the departed Rudy Gay and Trey Lyles. He also thinks that Doug McDermott will help with perimeter shooting and scoring.