Whether it be trades, free agency or otherwise, the San Antonio Spurs have encountered an exodus of talent over the past few seasons, including the likes of Kawhi Leonard and DeMar DeRozan. Most recently, they traded 26-year-old All-Star Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for a package largely centered on future draft capital. As a result, youthful development seems to be the priority entering the 2022-23 campaign, headlined by recent draftees such as Jeremy Sochan, Joshua Primo, Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson.
Head coach Gregg Popovich appears starkly aware of the direction of the franchise. He did not mince words at Monday’s Media Day about his team’s title odds.
“I probably shouldn’t say this, but I’ll say it anyway. What the hell,” Popovich said. “Nobody here should go to Vegas with the thought of betting on us to win the championship. And I know somebody will say, ‘Gosh, what a Debbie Downer. There’s a chance, what if they work really hard?’ It’s probably not going to happen. But the point is to develop this group and give them the best possible opportunity to have long NBA careers and enjoy the hell out of it. And whoever comes after me will have an opportunity to take them to the next level.”
Popovich on the Spurs youth: “Nobody here should go to Vegas with the thought of betting on us to win the championship…probably not going to happen, but that’s not the point.” #Spurs #KSATsports #PorVida pic.twitter.com/u2JjHStXEQ
— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) September 26, 2022
Following two decades of sustained postseason success, defined by five championships and a 22-year playoff streak, Popovich and the Spurs have pivoted. It’s been fun to watch a legendary coach like him adapt to different circumstances. He seems as though he’s embracing these new chances in what should be a year where success won’t necessarily start or end in the win-loss column for San Antonio.