The Spurs have created “optionality” as they consider the best path toward rebuilding, general manager Brian Wright told Tim MacMahon of ESPN. Wright explained that the organization has the ability to improve through the draft, trades or free agency.
San Antonio has one of the league’s worst records at 9-20 and figures to be among the teams with the best odds for the No. 1 pick and Victor Wembanyama. The Spurs also have a surplus of draft assets already in place following the Dejounte Murray deal with Atlanta, and they have veterans such as Jakob Poeltl, Doug McDermott and Josh Richardson who should be in demand before the February 9 trade deadline. The team is also more than $30MM under the salary cap and could have up to $60MM in cap space next summer.
“In a season like this one with the draft, everything gets overmagnified about tanking or anything like that,” Wright said. “It’s never been about that, and it won’t ever be about that. You’re younger and this is a league where you have to learn how to win, and it takes time. It takes the standards and habits and repetitions and doing the right thing, and that’s what this coaching staff has done for a long time, and that’s what these players are learning right now. We will get there.”
There’s more on the Spurs:
- Bringing Brett Brown back in June gave the coaching staff someone with plenty of experience in rebuilding, MacMahon adds. Brown served as head coach in Philadelphia during the “Process” years and understands what it takes to construct a team from the ground up. “Everything revolves around development,” he said. “It’s a big word. It’s not just, ‘Now they’ve got a jump hook.’ It’s growing them up with NBA habits and terminology and educational stuff on scouting.”
- Poeltl was able to play Saturday after missing seven straight games with a bone bruise in his right knee. That allowed the Spurs to have their preferred starting five available for the first time since November 26, tweets Jeff McDonald of The San Antonio Express-News.
- Commissioner Adam Silver confirmed that the NBA “worked in conjunction with the Spurs” on the investigation of Joshua Primo, who is accused of exposing himself to a team psychologist, per Tom Orsborn of The San-Antonio Express News. Silver said the subsequent lawsuit, which was settled out of court, shows that the league needs to work to protect the safety of its employees.