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Entering the 2022-23 season, the San Antonio Spurs are focused on rebuilding. Where does their young core group of players rank among the NBA’s best?
The San Antonio Spurs are in the early stage of a rebuild after trading All-Star guard Dejounte Murray to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for a return comprised of future draft capital. There were uncertainties about the outlook of retaining Murray when his current contract was to expire. 
The Spurs used the No. 9 overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to select Jeremy Sochan out of Baylor. During his freshman campaign, he averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds, and 1.8 assists. The 6-foot-9 forward possesses a 7-foot-plus wingspan and the necessary lateral quickness to guard multiple positions. 
Sochan, 19, could not participate in Las Vegas Summer League after testing positive for COVID-19 and opted not to play for Poland in EuroBasket. His first organized game since being drafted will be in preseason action. 
In addition to Sochan, the Spurs have used recent lottery picks to select Devin Vassell and Josh Primo. Both players entered the NBA as long-term prospects. However, Keldon Johnson, who was a late first-round pick in 2019, has quickly emerged as a standout talent after averaging 17.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.1 assists while proving to be a knockdown catch-and-shoot threat. 
Vassell is coming off a career year with averages of 12.3 points and 4.3 rebounds while shooting 36.1% from 3-point range. Where he tends to make his greatest impact goes beyond the box score with his on-ball and off-ball defense. With a 6-foot-10 wingspan and great instincts, he can wreak havoc on a half-court offense.
Meanwhile, Primo was limited to 19.3 minutes per game and struggled to make a positive impact offensively. He averaged 5.8 points and shot just 37.4% from the floor and 30.7% from beyond the arc. With a clear pathway to a larger role, he will need to solidify himself during the 2022-23 season. 
Sports Illustrated's Michael Shapiro

recently ranked the NBA's best young cores. For a team to be included, it must have four players who meet the following qualifications:
The teams ruled ineligible due to not meeting the criterion include the 76ers, Blazers, Bucks, Bulls, Clippers, Heat, Hornets, Lakers, Mavericks, Nets, Nuggets, Pacers, Jazz, and Wizards.
The Spurs' young core ranked last among the 16 eligible teams due to "a notable lack of top-end talent." There'd need to be major strides made from Johnson, Vassell, Primo, or Sochan along with a potential franchise cornerstone being added using the 2023 NBA Draft.
With Murray now a member of the Hawks, the Spurs do certainly lack established top-level talent. Right now, the top young players on the roster appear to be potentially strong complements to a star talent when they develop. As a result, they are positioned well for an elite prospect from this year's draft. 
There are two standout talents that many teams covet in the 2023 NBA Draft. Between 7-foot-3 do-it-all center Victor Wembanyama and the explosive, crafty Scoot Henderson, there are potential franchise-altering talents set to be available. If the Spurs can land one of them, their trajectory will dramatically shift.
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Editor in Chief of Inside The Spurs. Contributor for Dallas Basketball, All Knicks, Inside The Rockets, and The Magic Insider.




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