San Antonio Spurs fantasy basketball season recap

Previous team recaps: DETWASPOR, CHA

At a glance:

Record: 22-60 (14th, West) 

Offensive Rating: 109.3 (26th)

Defensive Rating: 115.6 (21st) 

Net Rating: -6.4 (25th) 

Pace: 101.80 (3rd) 

2024 Draft Picks: 4, 8, 35,48

After lucking out in the draft lottery and selecting Victor Wembanyama with the first pick in the draft, the Spurs vaulted from a bottom feeder to one of the most exciting teams in the league. Despite their poor record, they were must-watch TV every single night as Wemby put up incredible stat lines and made the game look too easy at times. They now hold two top-ten picks in the 2024 draft after the lottery went their way once again. The future is bright in San Antonio, and it won’t be long before they’re playing in the postseason again.

However, this wasn’t a successful season for the Spurs. They had one of the worst records in the league despite their core players being healthy for most of the season. The experiment with Jeremy Sochan at point guard wasn’t pretty. Keldon Johnson took a big step back and was moved to the bench. However, with Wemby on the team, it hardly seemed to matter. They were also able to finish strong by closing the year with wins in eight of their final 15 games.

San Antonio now has plenty of assets to build an elite team around Wemby. Some of the players currently on the team may be part of the future, but with two top ten picks this year and potentially four firsts next year, they have plenty of ammunition to make moves. Though they can certainly take a patient approach, there will be plenty of rumors suggesting that they need to make win-now moves immediately to keep Wemby happy. Regardless of what path they take, their future will be among the brightest in the league as Wemby grows into a superstar.

Fantasy Standout: Devin Vassell

Vassell continues to get better and better every year. After improving his scoring average by 6-7 points per game through each of his first three seasons, he took a leap forward with his efficiency this past year. He averaged career-highs off 19.5 points and 4.1 assists per game while also shooting 47.2% from the floor, which was a big improvement after he shot 43.9% during the 2022-23 season. Another improvement from the previous season was that Vassell played in 68 games despite missing the final eight games after San Antonio had practically pulled the plug on their season.

He certainly had some poor performances, but for the most part, Vassell proved that he should be part of the Spurs’ future and could be the third scoring option, or possibly even the second option, on a contending team. He was a top-75 player in 9-cat leagues, and he certainly has room to continue to grow. Over his final three appearances of the season, Vassell averaged 26.3 points, 6.7 assists, 1.7 steals and 3.0 triples per game. Those aren’t numbers that he’ll maintain over the course of a full year, but he will continue to be an excellent fantasy option when he is on the floor. His Yahoo ADP last season was 70.4, but he will likely go earlier in drafts next year.

Fantasy Revelation: Victor Wembanyama

The expectations for Wemby entering this season were astronomically high. It was simply unrealistic to expect this kid to come in and immediately dominate before turning 20 years old. Well, he ended up doing just that. Per Basketball Monster, Wemby was the sixth-best player in 9-cat leagues with averages of 21.4 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.9 assists, 1.2 steals, 3.6 blocks, 1.8 triples and 3.7 turnovers while shooting 46.7% from the floor and 79.6% from the line. As a rookie. This was otherworldly production, and he only got better as the season went on.

The scary part is that this was his floor. This should be the worst season of his career. After the All-Star break, he averaged 23.5 points, 12.0 Rebounds, 5.3 assists, 1.5 steals, 4.5 blocks and 2.3 triples per game. Unreal numbers, and he will get even better with more experience and a better team around him. The Spurs have a lot of young pieces on their roster, but they went 22-60 for a reason. They’ll have the opportunity to improve quickly this summer, and if they are able to bring in an elite point guard, things will only be easier for Wembanyama.

For dynasty managers, let’s make something very clear. Wemby is far and away the best player in dynasty formats. There is a case to be made that he should be the first player taken in redraft leagues, and he is only 20 years old. We could be looking at a 10-15 year run of utter dominance in fantasy. No matter the price, Wemby is a player worth trading for. If you have him, hold onto him dearly.

Fantasy Disappointment: Zach Collins

At the end of the 2022-23 season, Gregg Popovich was vocal about Collins being a starter for this past year. Even when they lucked out and got Wemby, Collins opened the year as the team’s starting center, with Vic at power forward. However, that only lasted until early December. The magic that Collins had to close out the previous season simply didn’t translate. He was reduced to being a streaming option when Wemby was out of the lineup, which didn’t happen as often as many expected it to.

Collins’ ADP in Yahoo leagues had him being drafted early in the 10th round, and there were times that he went in the top-100. However, he only played 22.1 minutes per game and averaged 11.2 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.8 assists, 0.5 steals, 0.8 blocks and 0.8 triples, all of which were drop-offs from the previous season. There was plenty of hype surrounding Collins heading into last season, but it’s hard to imagine a scenario where he is drafted in standard leagues next year.

Fantasy Recaps/Look-Aheads 

Jeremy Sochan:

Popovich experimented to start last season with Sochan orchestrating the offense. The “Point Sochan” experience certainly made headlines, but it didn’t end up being an effective strategy. However, it wasn’t something that they stuck with all season, and it will help Sochan’s development in the long run. He ended up averaging 11.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists in 29.6 minutes per game, and he was more effective after Tre Jones took over at point guard, as his numbers slightly improved to 12.5 points, 7.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists, 1.1 steals and 0.8 blocks per game. The assists obviously dropped, but his numbers improved everywhere else. He hasn’t excelled in any individual category yet, but he still has so much upside. He’ll eventually be a dynamic player in fantasy hoops, though it may take a few more seasons.

Tre Jones:

After starting the season in a reserve role, Jones was bumped into the starting unit in early January and ran the offense for the rest of the season. After providing top-100 value during the 2022-23 season, Jones’ numbers dipped this past year. However, after he moved back into the starting unit, he averaged 11.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 7.0 assists, 1.2 steals and 1.0 triple, which had him ranked just outside the top-75 in 9-cat leagues. Jones may not be the point guard of the future, but he is a solid fantasy option when he starts, and he is still only 24 years old. If he starts again next year, he’ll be worth a late pick. If he’s coming off the bench, there will likely be better options to look at.

Keldon Johnson:

Johnson had a strong start to last season, as he averaged 17.2 points, 6.5 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 1.9 triples through their first 26 games. That had him ranked just outside the top-75 in 9-cat value. However, just before Christmas, he was pushed to the bench and took over as the team’s sixth man. His numbers dropped following the demotion, and he finished outside the top-125 in 9-cat scoring. Johnson is still young and is more than capable as a scorer. However, if he is stuck in a reserve role, his fantasy upside will be limited, especially since he doesn’t typically provide well-rounded value.

Julian Champagnie:

It was Champagnie that replaced Johnson in the starting unit, though the results didn’t really mean much for fantasy basketball. In 59 starts, Champagnie averaged 7.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 1.7 assists and 1.5 triples per game. He did have a few big games during silly season, but those came when most of their starters were out due to injury. Champagnie may continue to play a role for the Spurs next season, but he isn’t a player to consider in fantasy basketball.

Malaki Branham:

The Spurs selected Branham with the 20th pick in the 2022 draft, but his minutes and production actually went down slightly in his second season in the league. He averaged 9.2 points, 2.0 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.2 triples in 21.3 minutes per game, though he did have a few big games in April. He just turned 21, so the upside is still there. He is worth stashing in dynasty leagues, but he shouldn’t be on your draft board in redraft formats.

Unrestricted Free Agents: Cedi Osman

Restricted Free Agents: Sandro Mamukelashvili, Dominick Barlow, David Duke Jr.