There’s a catch in what looks like a daylight robbery by the Hawks. There can be a Tim Duncan-like dynasty in making if they land Victor Wambanyama in 2023.
The San Antonio Spurs put up a great fight in the latter part of last season and qualified for the last play-in spot in the West, having an average age of 25.3 and just one All-Star in their ranks.
On Wednesday they let go of the only man who kept them from being a team in a total rebuild. They sent the first-time All-Star Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks for 2023, 2025, and 2027 first-round picks and also a pick swap in 2026 plus Danilo Gallinari.
Letting go of a 25-year-old that averaged well over 21 points, 8 rebounds, 9 assists, and 2 steals while being elite on the defensive end of the ball game, is their white flag in the direction of a total rebuild at last.
And it looks like Pop is pulling the same move he did 25 years ago to land Tim Duncan which resulted in them building a dynasty that would win 5 championships in 17 years.
San Antonio Spurs are going to tank all the way as they did in 1996-97 to land Tim Duncan
A 47-year-old Gregg Popovic took his first job as a Head Coach in San Antonio back in 1996 eighteen games into the ’96-97 season. Spurs ended that season 20-62 and got the 1st pick for the 1997 Draft which would obviously be the 6’11, shy and slander, Duncan.
And Marc Stein, the veteran NBA reporter who has been covering the game for almost 30 years, believes Pop is pulling that very card once again to land Victor Wambanyama next season.
Maybe it’s actually the poetic bookend for Gregg Popovich in San Antonio: A season of struggle — and Duncan-esque dreams of Victor Wembanyama — reminiscent of the Spurs’ 20-62 campaign in 1996-97 … when Pop took over 18 games in.
More NBA from me: https://t.co/A6ycVmnrjq
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 29, 2022
The 18-year-old’s ball-handling skills and overall work ethic and basketball IQ are clear reminisce of the 15-time – All-star, All-NBA, and All-Defensive First team selection. Let’s see if the Spurs get what they want after tanking next season.
They would have just a 14% chance to win the lottery, even with the worst record in the season.