The San Antonio Spurs sit 5th in the West with a record of 14-11. For a team that was picking in the top 15 last year, this is a huge jump, and while the start of the season always sees a couple teams get on a hot streak the Spurs might be able to sustain this performance. Led by Demar Derozan, the Spurs have a solid mix of young talent and old veterans that could help this team make a surprise playoff push. 

DeMar DeRozan 

The centerpiece of the Kawhi Leonard trade, DeMar DeRozan was a  4 time All-Star and was averaging 20+ points for the Raptors. In San Antonio DeRozan is doing the exact same thing, averaging 20 ppg this year, but has never found the same kind of success as he had in Toronto. It always felt like a matter of time before San Antonio dealt him and embraced the rebuild. That time has not come yet and with the recent success the Spurs might not trade DeRozan after all. Looking at his game, one of the biggest changes is the amount of assists he is dishing out. On the Spurs he is being asked to be the primary facilitator, a job that fell on Kyle Lowry on the Raptors, leading to higher assist numbers. He is averaging 6 assists per game, which is 10th in the league. With DeRozan’s ease to get in the paint and his ability to finish and pass it to his teammates, he has become the leader of this Spurs team that could be dangerous all season long. 

The young guys

The San Antonio Spurs are not just a team of savvy vets, but they also have a nice group of young players that are going to be the future of this team. Both Dejounte Murray and Keldon Johnson are coming into their own, averaging 14 ppg, and are the support crew for DeRozan. These two guys headline the list of young guys for the Spurs but they have a huge number of wings and guards still developing(Lonnie Walker, Derrick White, Devin Vassell, Trey Lyles, and Tre Jones). These guys are the future of the organization, but they are already helping to contribute to wins. Murray and Walker are both averaging double digits, and are solid backourt starters. Johnson is getting ready to take DeRozan’s place in the next couple of years, but he continues to develop into a star wing for the Spurs. The Spurs have a list of young guys with untapped potential who will be contributing in the future, but some of them are already contributing and that is what is keeping the Spurs from falling down the rankings. 

One of the biggest reasons that the Spurs are in this position is because they got good value from the Kawhi trade and they have been drafting players late in the draft that are becoming starters and contributing. Both Johnson and Murray were picked with the 29th pick, and that just goes to show how good this team is at drafting and that they will continue to add to the talent on this team. 

Top Image: Abbie Parr/Getty Images

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