2021 San Antonio Spurs Depth Chart
|Point Guard||Dejounte Murray||5||Patty Mills||8||Tre Jones||33|
|Shooting Guard||Derrick White||4||Lonnie Walker||1|
|Small Forward||DeMar DeRozan||10||Devin Vassell||24|
|Power Forward||Keldon Johnson||3||Rudy Gay||22||Trey Lyles||7|
|Center||Jakob Poeltl||25||Drew Eubanks||14|
After an uncharacteristically drama-filled season and subsequent offseason, the San Antonio Spurs will have a slightly different look this season. After appearing in just nine games for San Antonio last season, and being absent from the team’s bench in the playoffs, All-Star Kawhi Leonard elected to force the Spurs into a no-win situation that ended in Leonard being traded to the Toronto Raptors. They received DeMar DeRozan and Jakob Poeltl in the deal with the Raptors and while those two are not on the same level as Leonard, they are excellent contributors and fit the Spurs system perfectly. In addition to losing Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs also lost Danny Green, Kyle Anderson, and Tony Parker, which will hurt their depth a lot, along with members of their coaching staff. There are also rumors surrounding the potential retirement of Manu Ginobili, further weakening the depth on the team and leading the Spurs into a new generation of youth. Bringing back veterans LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol and Rudy Gay will provide the Spurs with a little bit of stability amongst all the recent turmoil and changes, while the additions of Marco Belinelli and Dante Cunningham bring a veteran presence to the second unit.
After a season full of ups and downs, including losing the starting point guard spot at one point, Dejounte Murray is poised to have a big season as he heads into his third year wearing a Spurs jersey. Murray earned NBA All-Defensive Second Team last season and averaged 8.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. Patty Mills is slated to play behind Murray at the point guard position but because of their lack of depth at both guard positions, Mills could spend time at the shooting guard position this season. Derrick White had a breakout performance in Summer League and could provide additional depth at the position, although he is still young and an unproven talent in the NBA.
Things at the shooting guard position could get a little bit dicey based on what head coach Gregg Popovich decides to do at the small forward position. DeMar DeRozan is slated to start at shooting guard but could end up spending more time at the small forward position this season which would greatly reduce San Antonio’s depth at the position. Marco Belinelli is slated to play behind both DeRozan at the shooting guard position and Rudy Gay at the small forward position, although DeRozan is better suited to spend time at small forward, with Bryn Forbes and Lonnie Walker getting minutes at the position if Manu Ginobili does indeed retire. Forbes is a three-point specialist that will be a change of pace for the Spurs who have a lot of mid-range shooters on their roster. The Spurs will desperately need scoring off the bench which could lead to combo-forward Rudy Gay spending a lot of time on the second unit but they also can’t afford to have him not in the starting lineup. I expect to see Gay start at the small forward spot but come off the floor early in the first quarter with DeRozan or Belinelli sliding into his place so that Gay can spend time with the second unit. Dante Cunningham could also spend time behind Gay this season, although his skill set is much better suited for the power forward position.
The Spurs have the luxury of having two veteran presences in the frontcourt and that starts with LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge thrived for the Spurs last season as the focal point of the offense without Leonard and he will be a stalwart in their offense once again this season. Aldridge is coming off another All-Star season where he averaged 23.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game but he struggled to hit from the perimeter where he shot just 29.3 percent. Rudy Gay will spend some time backing up Aldridge when the Spurs go small, but they have Davis Bertans and Dante Cunningham that are capable backups. Bertans has showcased the ability to hit from three-point ranges, connecting on 37.3 percent of attempts last season, and provides the Spurs bench with much-needed scoring. Pau Gasol appeared in 77 games for the Spurs last season but saw a reduction in minutes through the season. The Spurs aren’t particularly strong at center behind Gasol if the newly acquired Jakob Poeltl struggles but the young big man was outstanding for the Raptors last season and brings much-needed rim protection to the Spurs frontcourt.