Texas Notes: Wembanyama, Carter, Shead, Luka

With Spurs rookie center Victor Wembanyama already seemingly on the cusp of superstardom, Andrew Lopez of ESPN wonders if San Antonio will be able to make itself an appetizing landing spot for free agents.

The 7’4″ Rookie of the Year averaged 21.4 PPG, 10.6 RPG, 3.9 APG and 3.6 BPG across his 71 healthy contests with the club in 2023/24.

Should the Spurs cut veterans Devonte’ Graham and Charles Bassey, they could easily open up close to $20MM in cap space this summer to upgrade their roster around Wembanyama.

Lopez acknowledges that San Antonio did sign free agent All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge while he was still in his prime, and, later, an aging Pau Gasol after a pair of All-Star berths on the Bulls. Otherwise, San Antonio has generally grown internally, signed role player free agents, or improved via trades.

During remarks made at the end of the 2023/24 regular season, general manager Brian Wright indicated that he hoped to use the 20-year-old Wembanyama to lure top-tier free agents eventually.

There’s more out of the Lone Star State:

  • The Spurs, possessors of the Nos. 4 and 8 lottery picks in this month’s forthcoming draft, still need a long-term point guard compatriot for Wembanyama. Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News argues in favor of San Antonio considering Providence guard Devin Carter. The 2023/24 Big East Player of the Year seems likely to be available with the eighth pick, McDonald speculates.
  • University of Houston coach Kelvin Sampson revealed that former Cougars point guard Jamal Shead is slated to work out for the Rockets this Friday, reports Joseph Duarte of The Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • All-NBA Mavericks guard Luka Doncic conceded that he has been frustrated by the officiating in the ongoing NBA Finals, in which Dallas trails the Celtics 3-0. The All-NBA guard was whistled for his sixth foul and thus ejected from a critical Game 3 matchup Wednesday with 4:12 left in regulation. Per Tim MacMahon of ESPN, Doncic is looking to move past his frustrations with the recent refereeing. “Go back to playing fun,” Doncic said of his intended approach on Thursday. “We talk about how we come back from [21] points in the fourth quarter in the Finals. We were having fun. We were defending. We were running. Our pace was great. Just taking good shots.” During a conversation with ESPN’s Malika Andrews (Twitter video link), Doncic ultimately still felt responsible for the team’s eventual 106-99 loss in Game 3. “It was tough, probably wasn’t the smartest thing,” he said of fouling out.
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