The Spurs had a rocky off-season that left many surprised. Kawhi Leonard was shipped to Toronto in favor of DeMar DeRozen. While both are termed as stars in the league, Leonard could cover more positions and was termed as one of the league's best defenders. The trade with the Raptors also brought Jakob Poeltl to the team. While this may seem like a minimal add, slotting him behind Pau Gasol to foster learning puts the team in a great position. Rudy Gay gets the bump to starter, which is a role he filled this past season when the Leonard situation was gaining heavy attention. If anything, the team unloaded this attention in favor of some good contributors which will keep this starting lineup intact. Dejounte Murray carried some devastating news as he will spend a long period on the sidelines with injury. Patty Mills figures to be the next man up, but Bryn Forbes could threaten his opportunity for extended run as a starter. The team is solid upfront with LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol, but age does become a factor for usage rates. The Spurs organization has done a good job keeping a steady influx of younger players and their draft class this year will reach a competitive level within a few years.
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|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF|
|Power Forward PF|
|Point Guard PG||
|Shooting Guard SG|
|Small Forward SF||
|Power Forward PF||
A: DeRozen was featured in a lead role in Toronto. He had Kyle Lowry to lean on for getting him additional looks, but most came from personal creation. The Spurs lineup offers larger size than that of Toronto, but the speed and pace of play will be slowed to mirror the game of these individuals. It might take some adjusting for DeRozen to adopt a mentality that doesn't include him within every play set or offensive platform, but he is at a point in his career where he should be striving for a championship as opposed to a scoring title.
A: The Murray news couldn't have come at a worse time. Murray showcased that he can lead the team in the assist category, which is a mentality that has been already instilled within Patty Mills. Mills is not a scorer, he's an influencer. He will slot into this role easily, but he does offer a drop-off from the production levels that Murray was reaching. Forbes gives the team an element of surprise and his body of work showed great improvement over the off-season.
A: Pau Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Rudy Gay have all played within the league for 10+ years. Each of these players has lost some pep in their step over the years, reducing their court time and racking up the rest minutes. Having each of these three in the starting lineup calls for some concern given the run they will be able to handle. Their conditioning levels are high, but most of these mentions will rarely climb past the 30 to 35-minute range within the games. The bench production and an established rotation will have to limit these players in favor of sticking within contests.