On a latest episode of The Spurscast, Paul Garcia and his visitor Matt Lerma mentioned the San Antonio Spurs’ rotation choices forward of the 2022 season. This dialog included the topic of Josh Primo because the San Antonio Spurs’ finest place to begin guard possibility. After the workforce traded each Derrick White and Dejounte Murray in 2022, the place is up for grabs for the primary time in additional than 20 years. When discussing choices for the Spurs’ rotation, one should contemplate what’s the workforce’s goal presently.
If San Antonio is trying on the large image, they might be making an attempt to develop the workforce for the long run. This might imply enjoying guys the place they might not match naturally. Whereas the workforce collects losses, they’re not less than constructing towards the long run. This technique would additionally probably enable the Spurs to be in play for a excessive draft decide within the 2023 NBA Draft. Ought to they be aiming for wins, nevertheless, then the rotation would look much like final spring, minus Murray. A robust scorer in his first season, Primo would look like the most effective match, however there’s just a little bit extra to it.
Is Josh Primo a Level Guard or a Capturing Guard?
Primo’s extra logical match seems to be at capturing guard the place he appears extra comfy. Closing out his rookie 12 months, he began the ultimate 12 video games final season on the place. He strikes effectively and is a slightly elite scorer enjoying off the ball. Final season, he shot 92.9 p.c from the perimeter off of assisted pictures, and 52.5 p.c from contained in the arc off of assisted pictures. This isn’t to say he can’t create his personal shot, however these are removed from scrub percentages.
Taking part in from the 2 permits Primo to proceed getting comfy on the ground with out having to fret about working the offense as effectively. In simply his second 12 months within the system, specializing in his function may have a higher payoff down the highway. The workforce’s long-term plan for Primo, nevertheless, could possibly be on the level. What higher time to get him minutes within the function than this season? At media day this week, he was requested about probably working the offense this season.
“I really feel like, completely,” Primo responded when requested about taking on the purpose guard place. “I’m prepared for that, to have the ability to deal with the ball extra. Be a pacesetter when it comes to being a flooring common, and that’ll be enjoyable. It’ll be a very good problem for me.”
There can be sufficient challenges for Primo and the Spurs this season as it’s, they don’t have to pile extra on. Because the preseason begins this Sunday in opposition to the Houston Rockets, we, sadly, received’t get a take a look at Primo conducting the offense. Identified with an MCL sprain, he’s anticipated to overlook the complete preseason. The excellent news is that he needs to be again in time for the season opener. This opens the door to permit for a very good take a look at the workforce’s most suitable choice on the level, third-year guard Tre Jones.
Can Tre Jones Be the San Antonio Spurs Beginning Level Guard?
A 6’1” guard out of Duke, Jones is a standard level guard. Taking part in on the beginning roster with RJ Barrett, Cam Reddish, and Zion Williamson, he is aware of find out how to get elite scorers concerned too. On the Spurs in 2021, Jones completed third on the workforce in help common, dispensing 3.4 assists per recreation. He trailed solely Murray and White in assists on the workforce, regardless of enjoying half as many minutes per recreation.
The knock about having Jones on the ground at any time is that he hasn’t but been an actual scoring menace. Taking part in within the G League bubble to begin the 2020-2021 season, the Duke product flashed nice offensive potential. Throughout seven appearances, he averaged 18.1 factors and 9.7 assists per recreation with the Austin Spurs. Jones was a significant component within the workforce forming a formidable trio together with Robert Woodard II and Luka Samanic. San Antonio followers obtained a style of that manufacturing final December in a contest with the Detroit Pistons. Coming off the bench, Jones recorded 11 assists to associate with eight factors and 5 rebounds within the win.
Requested this week concerning the potential of incomes the start line guard function, Jones famous his offseason work on scoring, notably from the arc. He additionally is aware of that the opening on the place may be big for him personally.
“We’ll simply should see how camp goes,” Jones stated. “… so far as my function goes, I’m going to attempt to tackle that function as being a pacesetter for this group, particularly at level guard. Proceed to attempt to do all the pieces I used to be going via – arrange our workforce, arrange guys in the appropriate spots they must be in, and let the remaining care for itself… There’s an enormous alternative now, for certain large alternative there.”
If Jones have been to be the Spurs’ place to begin guard, that will probably produce a beginning lineup with him together with Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl, Devin Vassell, and Primo. That rotation noticed the ground for 49 minutes final season. Collectively they averaged almost six fewer factors per 100 possessions than their opponents. With numerous inexperience, that unit was extraordinarily turnover inclined. The one areas it excelled have been at blocking pictures (+3.8) and assisted pictures (+3.8). With Johnson, Vassell, and Primo primed to step up as scorers this 12 months, nevertheless, mere chemistry and alternatives may assist these numbers enhance. Taking part in this rotation now permits it to proceed to develop for the 2023 season.
May Blake Wesley Steal the Beginning Level Guard Position?
The lone darkish horse candidate to swipe the start line guard function from Jones or Primo is rookie Blake Wesley. In his lone season at Notre Dame, Wesley stood out as a scorer. If that’s what the Spurs are searching for, it will give him an early edge on Jones. As a distributor, he averaged 2.4 assists per recreation, influenced closely by a nine-assist efficiency in opposition to A&M-Corpus Christi final December.
Maybe the main issue working in opposition to Wesley within the dialog is his lack of “company data” of the Spurs’ system. Head coach Gregg Popovich is thought for being powerful on his gamers all through his 26 seasons on the helm. He’s notably been particularly onerous on the purpose guards. The strategy has labored effectively for the workforce, nevertheless, producing All-Stars within the aforementioned Murray and the good Tony Parker.
Over the past decade, the group has despatched its younger gamers to the Austin G League affiliate to get a crash course within the system. That course of stems again to Murray and consists of Jones and Primo. There’s a very good likelihood that Wesley will get the identical therapy. If that’s the case, it is going to be price monitoring how typically the Austin offense runs via him. Whereas he could also be a close to non-factor on this 12 months’s competitors for the start line guard spot, Wesley may discover himself within the combine subsequent 12 months.
Who do you suppose needs to be the workforce’s place to begin guard in 2022? Do assists even matter to play the function anymore? You should definitely remark beneath.