30 teams in 30 days: Tottenham bring in a lot of new faces as rebuilding begins

Greg Popovich and Tottenham are set to continue rebuilding this season.

San Antonio Spurs

2021-22 record: 34-48
The main additions: Jeremy Suchan, Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley (Draft 2022)

Key subtraction operations: Dejounte Murray (trade), Lonnie Walker IV (freelance agency)

Last season: Greg Popovich became winning coach In NBA history that was pretty much the highlight of Tottenham. For the third consecutive season, they missed the playoffs, a turnaround from a franchise that holds the league’s record of 22 consecutive appearances. Such is life when Tim Duncan and David Robinson don’t walk through that door. Spurs failed to win forty again, took a consolation prize by qualifying for the Play-In Championship and then sped off the season with plenty of issues and not many potential solutions.

Summer Summary: When was the last time Tottenham were out on bail next season before it even started? Welcome to the new reality of San Antonio, where the R-word – rebuilding – is suddenly spoken in a non-quiet style. If not made clear during the 2021-22 season, it rang out loud at Spurs Murray surrenderedan all-star, defensive devil and the only respected link on the list.

He was essentially sacrificed for the future because, first of all, he didn’t want to sign an extension next summer, so Spurs decided to be proactive. They received three unprotected picks in the first round (plus a swap in 2026) from the Hawks for the 25-year-old goalkeeper who has just entered his head as a very strong two-way player.

GM Tottenham Brian Wright talks about Dejounte Murray’s foreign trade to the Hawks and what lies ahead in San Antonio.

Murray was coming off the best season of his career averaging 21.1 points, 9.2 assists, 8.3 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game and earning All star honors For the first time in his career. He had the Spurs record in 13 hat-tricks and the deal was welcomed in Atlanta. In San Antonio, she was met with resignation and disregard.

This is where Spurs are now. Rather than giving everyone the false impression that with a little cosmetic work they will be a dangerous team next season, Spurs have done away with all the pretense. Why struggle and fail to win forty games again and be a team in the middle of the lottery in the draft? Why not hit reset and take your chance with a high pick or a chance to get Victor Wimpanyama, the teenage sensation from France? It’s not like that hasn’t worked before in San Antonio (Robinson and Duncan were both former first picks overall).

Murray was only under contract for one season before hitting unrestricted free agency, and Spurs decided to deal with him for as long as they could, or risk watching him walk by and get little for nothing in return. They decided to push the button now, while its value was high.

Of course, the flip side of this argument is: Wouldn’t one of those future choices be great if they could craft another Murray?

Along the same lines, Spurs allowed Locker, previously to choose the first round, to walking as well. Apparently, they felt that Walker had hit the ceiling in the franchise’s highly acclaimed player development system.

What Tottenham did not lose is their coach. The rebuilding is totally fine with Popovic, as he returns for another season as he prepares to turn 74 in late January. Popovich loves to train, enjoys his bottles of wine to count expenses, and is eager to challenge the generous generational gap between him and his youthful roster.

No one has had more wins in NBA history than Greg Popovich, who made an unforgettable legacy during his time in San Antonio.

That roster got younger this summer when Spurs welcomed three first-round picks: Sutchan, Branham and Wesley, none of whom were legally able to lift a trophy with their coach.

Suchan is a 6-foot-8 active pogo player from Baylor who has the potential to be a good two-way player in either attack. That’s really all he has now because he’s still learning the game. When he started last season at Baylor, he wasn’t even the best player in school. But, as the season progressed, he dropped hints and then watched his stock rise during the NBA spring practice and unite.

Branham played high school ball at LeBron James’ old place in Akron, then spent a cheering season at Ohio State. He was targeted in the lottery by some recruiting experts but dropped to 20. At 6-foot-5, he has the body type to be a potential replacement for Murray.

The same goes for Wesley, who starred in Notre Dame. He would need to sharpen his scope from depths, even though he was just a 30.3% 3-point shooter in college.

The other thing for Spurs was to give Keldon Johnson a Four years, $80 million extension. Johnson took a very encouraging step in his development last season, and if all goes well, he will be the face of the team in 2022-23.

He wouldn’t have much competition for that honor. Spurs are bringing in a lot of new faces, it’s going to take time, and suddenly that scheme isn’t all that weird in San Antonio anymore.

next one: New Orleans Pelicans | previously: Utah Jazz

> 30 teams in 30 days: full schedule

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Sean Powell has covered the NBA for over 25 years. You can email him here you find Archive it here and follow him Twitter.

The opinions expressed on this page do not necessarily reflect those of the National Basketball Association, its clubs, or Turner Broadcasting.