The San Antonio Spurs will be without guard Keldon Johnson when training camp opens next week.
According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, Johnson is also expected to miss at least the start of the Spurs' preseason schedule because of a dislocated right shoulder suffered during a recent scrimmage.
McDonald added that while the Spurs are likely to hold Johnson out for the entire preseason, the expectation is that he will be ready for the team's regular-season opener against the Charlotte Hornets on Oct. 19.
San Antonio will open training camp on Tuesday and begin its preseason slate on Oct. 2 when it travels to Houston for a meeting with the Rockets.
After head coach Gregg Popovich led the Spurs to the playoffs in 22 consecutive seasons, they have now missed the playoffs in each of the past three years, and expectations are low coming off a 34-48 record in 2021-22.
San Antonio's only All-Star last season was guard Dejounte Murray, and he was traded to the Atlanta Hawks this offseason, leaving the Spurs without a surefire star.
The closest thing Popovich has to a star now is Johnson, as he is coming off a career year and finished second on the team in scoring last season behind Murray with 17.0 points per game.
In addition to setting a career mark in scoring, Johnson had career highs with 6.1 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.1 three-pointers made as well. He also shot 46.6 percent from the field and 39.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Spurs selected Johnson with the No. 29 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft out of Kentucky, and it is fair to say that he has already outplayed his draft position, as he has improved significantly in each of his first three NBA seasons.
If Johnson takes another step forward in 2022-23, he may have a chance to compete for an All-Star spot and establish himself as the next star in a long line of big-time players who have played under Popovich.
Even if Johnson is healthy and productive, however, it is difficult to envision the Spurs being in the mix for a playoff spot in the deep and talented Western Conference.