Spurs Notes: Wembanyama, Collins, Sochan, Vassell, Johnson

Victor Wembanyama will receive an overwhelming amount of attention during his rookie season with the Spurs. He doesn’t believe it will be a major distraction for his teammates, ESPN’s Andrew Lopez writes.

“They know I don’t care about it (the attention),” Wembanyama said. “I’m here to make sacrifices for them and I think when it’s needed, they’re also going to make sacrifices for me. And they know it’s different. They know it’s going to happen. Of course, there’s going to be a lot of attention, but it’s at the end of the day when everything is done and we’re at practice and I’m like, ‘Yeah, OK, what do we do to get this thing better?’ So it’s really stuff we don’t care about. It’s basketball first.”

We have more from the Spurs:

  • Center Zach Collins marveled after Wembanyama’s first day of camp how the rookie can dunk from odd angles, Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News writes. “He does a lot of stuff you don’t really see too often,” Collins said. “The way he can dunk the ball, he is so close to the rim and it looks so easy for him. And he is doing it from weird angles and his body is contorted in certain ways, but his arm still gets to the rim. … It’s a weapon we haven’t had before.”
  • Jeremy Sochan spent most of his rookie year playing power forward but he can play any position, Gregg Popovich told Kelly Iko of The Athletic and other media members. “He can play one through four,” Popovich said. “And depending on circumstances — who we’re playing, injuries — I could see him going to the five and us playing small. He’s like a utility infielder in baseball; maybe they don’t have that anymore. The sky’s the limit for him. He’s so competitive. He handles the ball. He’s one of our best passers. He’s really important in creating pace for us, that up-tempo style that we did so much better with last year. Very, very fun to watch.”
  • Devin Vassell‘s five-year rookie scale extension has an unusual structure, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets. Vassell will make $29,347,826 in 2024/25 and $27MM in each of the next two seasons. He’ll get $24,692,174 in 2027/28, when a potential Wembanyama extension could kick in, and $27MM in the final year of the contract. The deal also includes $11MM in unlikely bonuses.
  • Collins, Wembanyama and Vassell seem like locks for the starting five. Tre Jones is the logical choice at point guard, so if Sochan gets the other lineup spot, that would leave last year’s leading scorer — Keldon Johnson — on the bench, McDonald notes.
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