Southwest Notes: Jones, Langford, Vassell, Bassey, Grizzlies, Green

There’s optimism that the Spurs will get some key players back shortly after the All-Star break, head coach Gregg Popovich said on Wednesday (Twitter link via Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News). According to Popovich, Tre Jones, Romeo Langford, and even Devin Vassell are all getting close to returning.

Jones has missed six of the Spurs’ last seven games due to left foot soreness, while Langford has been out since January 23 with a left adductor injury. As for Vassell, he underwent a procedure on his left knee in early January and has been on the mend since then. All three players were part of San Antonio’s starting five before being sidelined.

Here’s more from around the Southwest:

  • Charles Bassey‘s new four-year contract with the Spurs has matching $2.6MM cap hits in its first two seasons, both of which are fully guaranteed, Hoops Rumors has learned. Bassey’s third- and fourth-year salaries are each $2.5MM and are non-guaranteed. His third-year salary would become guaranteed if he remains under contract through August 1, 2024 and his fourth-year salary would be guaranteed if he stays under contract through August 1, 2025.
  • When Ja Morant and Jaren Jackson Jr. were named All-Stars for 2023, it the first time in franchise history that two Grizzlies players had made the All-Star team in the same season. As Mark Giannotto of The Memphis Commercial Appeal writes, the achievement serves as validation for the franchise that the right core pieces are in place, even if the club is still working on the complementary parts.
  • Kelly Iko of The Athletic examines Jalen Green‘s development and explores how important the growth of the former No. 2 overall pick is in the Rockets‘ long-term plans. As Iko details, Houston wants to take a significant step forward next season — adding another lottery talent in the draft and having up to $60MM+ in cap room will help, but the team also needs its own young players to take a leap.
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