Let the rebuild begin.
The San Antonio Spurs have fully committed to building around young players and the draft over the past year. Before last season's trade deadline, they dealt Derrick White, Thaddeus Young and Drew Eubanks in a pair of trades that netted them two first-round picks and a future pick swap, among other assets.
However, the big deal came this offseason, when star point guard Dejounte Murray was sent to the Atlanta Hawks for Danilo Gallinari (who was waived), first-round picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027 and a pick swap in 2026.
The Spurs even brought back former assistant coach Brett Brown, who was at the helm during the Philadelphia 76ers' controversial "Process" rebuild, to work under Gregg Popovich.
It's clear the team is building around a young core of Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, Josh Primo and Jeremy Sochan while compiling future draft assets.
Below, we'll take a look at the schedule the young Spurs will face this season in this new chapter for the organization.
2022-23 Spurs Schedule Details
Season Opener: Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 19 at 8 p.m. ET
Championship Odds: 500-1, (via FanDuel)
Full Schedule: NBA.com
Atlanta Hawks (First Game: Feb. 11)
While it's hard to imagine Spurs fans will have much ill-will toward Murray, who was traded to a team better suited to his timeline as a player, there will still be some buzz in the air when he faces his former squad.
The Hawks will obviously be the heavy favorites in this contest—a backcourt of Trae Young and Murray won't be easy for any team to deal with, let alone the young Spurs—but Murray's former teammates won't want anything to come easy for him in these matchups.
New Orleans Pelicans (First Game: Nov. 23)
The New Orleans Pelicans ended San Antonio's season last year, and the two teams have been taking a divergent path for about a year now.
The Pelicans would go on to give the Phoenix Suns everything they could handle in the playoffs and return a core group of Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram and CJ McCollum—who they traded for at last season's deadline, while the Spurs sent out veterans of their own—among others. They might not be title contenders, but they'll be a tough matchup for any team.
And the Spurs, fresh off of losing in the play-in tournament two years in a row, decided to end their middle-of-the-road purgatory and start from scratch.
These games won't determine which franchise took the smarter path, but they will offer an interesting contrast in team-building and give the Spurs a chance to exact some revenge on the team that ended their season and, by proxy, Murray's time in San Antonio.
The Spurs aren't going to be good this year. A Popovich-led team will never admit to tanking, but trading your best player in the offseason and building around young, less-proven players is generally an attempt to do just that.
For the Spurs, improving their chances at landing Victor Wembanyama in next year's draft is worth a rough 2022-23 campaign.
For Spurs fans, the season will be about seeing which youngsters have breakout potential. Vassell and Johnson have already flashed upside. Can Primo take another step in year two? What will Sochan and fellow rookies Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley offer?
The Spurs will play hard under Popovich. They'll be scrappy. They should have moments of excitement, and the young players will gain valuable experience.
They just aren't going to win a ton of games.
Record Prediction: 25-57
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