3 Best Offseason Moves for the San Antonio Spurs


  • The Spurs drafting Nikola Topić and reed Sheppard could solidify their backcourt for the future.
  • Gordon Hayward is a valuable free-agent target due to his skills and veteran leadership.
  • Acquiring John Collins via trade could address the Spurs’ need for a hybrid big man in their rotation.



The San Antonio Spurs can be the leaders of the new school. French forward-center Victor Wembanyama, the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, has proven that he’s an unforeseen talent, capable of destroying teams offensively and defensively with a rare skillset while standing 7-foot-4.

Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, widely regarded as the best coach in the NBA, has been invigorated by the opportunity to coach Wembanyama. More to the point, with Wembanyama as the face of the franchise, the Spurs have the opportunity to recreate the dynasty led by Hall of Fame big man Tim Duncan.

With that said, San Antonio already has a blueprint; they just need to follow it.

1 Spurs’ Outlook in 2024 NBA Draft

San Antonio Spurs find their new Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili

Kentucky's Reed Sheppard, 2024 NBA Draft prospect

The Spurs lucked up when they landed the No. 4 and No. 8 picks in the upcoming NBA Draft because they only have one big need: a starting point guard. Yet, the point guard that would be best for them could need to sit out for the 2024-25 season.

KK Crvena’s Nikola Topić suffered a partially torn ACL during the Serbian League Finals, but the Spurs should still draft him. He’s arguably the top point guard prospect in the draft due to his size, scoring potential, and playmaking ability.

At a listed 6-foot-6 and 201 pounds, Topić averaged 14.5 points and 5.5 assists per game in 2023-24, shooting 49.8 percent. However, he needs to improve his 3-point stroke, making 30.6 percent of his attempts beyond the arc.

That weakness and a potential language barrier are why a redshirt year for Topić could work in his favor. Furthermore, players like Joel Embiid, Michael Porter Jr., and Chet Holmgren sat out their first season due to injury and bounced back fine. There’s little reason to believe his injury diminishes his potential.

However, the Spurs still need a point guard. That’s why, with the No. 8 pick, they should select a selfless playmaker with a tremendous basketball pedigree: Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard.

Sheppard has average length for the position at 6-foot-3 but above-average athleticism, with a 42-inch vertical and 3.08 second 3/4 court sprint. His basketball IQ, feel for the game, and efficiency are all top-notch. He just doesn’t look like a hooper, and that’s fine because the Spurs are concerned about substance rather than appearance.

In 2023-24, Sheppard averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, and 2.5 steals per game while shooting 52.1 percent from three-point range. While Topić heals, Sheppard can assume the starting point guard role. Should he play well enough, he may stay on as a backcourt starter alongside Topić when the Serbian star returns.

Where Wembanyama is Popovich’s Duncan and Jeremy Sochan is his Boris Diaw, Topić is his Manu Ginobli and Sheppard his Tony Parker. He just got the gang back together, though they look a little different.

2 NBA Free Agency

Gordon Hayward could be useful on and off the court

Gordon Hayward at shootaround

San Antonio is positioned well this offseason. They’re projected to have $21.3 million in practical cap space. They also have the $12.9 million non-taxpayers mid-level exception and $4.7 million bi-annual exception at their disposal. This essentially allows them to sign three different calibers of players.

The Spurs want to win as quickly as possible, but they want to do it the right way. After drafting Topić and Sheppard, their backcourt rotation is essentially solidified. Vassell and Wembanyama are the only guaranteed starters next season, though. Furthermore, they could use a true small forward, as Vassell is 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, and Keldon Johnson is also 6-foot-5.

Among the available free agents, veteran forward Gordon Hayward is the best fit.

Gordon Hayward – By The Numbers











Last 5 Seasons





Career Averages





To start, Hayward won’t command more (or much more) than the non-taxpayers MLE. In addition, he’s a skilled, do-it-all forward who supplements the starting lineup’s weaknesses. He’s an excellent shooter, making 38.5 percent of his three-point attempts over the past five seasons. He’s great at generating ball-movement, with an 18.4 percent assist rate since 2018-19. Lastly, he can play either forward spot.

In terms of intangibles, he’s also valuable. Hayward is a 14-year NBA veteran with a remarkable determination and work ethic, as evidenced by his skill development and ability to return from a major injury. His breadth of experience makes him more than a player for the Spurs, but also a mentor.

3 Potential Spurs Trade

John Collins shores up the Spurs’ big man rotation

Utah Jazz big man John Collins guards San Antonio Spurs forward Jeremy Sochan

With Topić, Sheppard, and Hayward, San Antonio has added shooting and playmaking. Now, they need a big man to fill out their rotation. Wembanyama began to man the pivot as the season went along, but he’s still rail-thin and could use a break there.

That’s where John Collins —who he can also play beside — comes in. That said, the depth behind Sochan is thin, unless counting Wembanyama. As a result, they should look for a hybrid big man on the trade market, as they need a player who can man both power forward and center.

The best way to achieve this is by trading Tre Jones, especially after drafting two point guards. This leads them to Utah Jazz big man John Collins, who the team is looking to move on from. This is perhaps primarily motivated by a desire to shed his salary, as he’s due $53 million over the next two seasons.

Nonetheless, he’s also a weird fit for the Jazz, who have power forwards Lauri Markkanen and 2023 No. 9 pick Taylor Hendricks in their plans. With shot-blocking center Walker Kessler also part of their core, Collins was eventually pigeonholed at center. Yet, while he can slide to the five, he’s spent the bulk of his career as a power forward. This put him and the Jazz at a disadvantageous position and at a high price.

Spurs’ Potential Rotation (2024-25)


Nikola Topić

Reed Sheppard


Devin Vassell

Malaki Branham


Gordon Hayward

Keldon Johnson


John Collins

Jeremy Sochan


Victor Wembanyama

John Collins

He may or may not start for the Spurs. But given that Sochan’s jumper still needs work, Collins making 36.1 percent of his threes over the past five seasons is appealing. He’s also a better threat above the rim, which shows up in his ability to be a lob threat and his rebounding. Indeed, his interior gravity should make it easier for Wembanyama to score outside or inside.

To make the deal work, San Antonio could send Tre Jones and Devonte Graham — both of whom are on expiring contracts — to Utah for Collins. A future first-round pick could guarantee they get the deal done, even if it comes with protections.


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