NBA Season Preview 2019-20: Every team’s biggest question

Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images /
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Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images /

San Antonio Spurs: Who are the heirs apparent to Aldridge and DeRozan?

It’s fair to suggest that, as they look to extend their streak of consecutive playoff appearances to a whopping 23 seasons, the San Antonio Spurs feel a little inevitable. Even as Gregg Popovich’s team seemed to be at its most vulnerable in the wake of Kawhi Leonard’s departure last season, the Spurs found a way to persevere, winning 48 games and keeping the streak alive. The Western Conference remains as strong as ever, but at this stage, it feels foolish to bet against them doing it again.

Even as immortal as the Spurs always seem to be, they still have some uncertainty ahead of them. LaMarcus Aldridge and DeMar DeRozan are the twin engines of this roster, but at 34 and 30 years old, respectively, it’s becoming time for the team to consider a future beyond the duo. Who picks up the torch once they start to decline?

Could it be 22-year-old Dejounte Murray, freshly returned from a torn ACL that cost him a potential breakout season last year?. Maybe it’s 2018 first round pick Lonnie Walker IV, who lost much of his debut season to a torn meniscus? Or perhaps the most likely candidate is the unlikely hero who stepped up in the two young guards’ absences: 25-year-old Derrick White, who capped off a surprise year with a 36-point explosion against the Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs.

The Spurs should be strong contenders for a playoff spot once again this season, but as they well know, it’s never too early to look ahead to the future. If one of their young guards can take the next step towards stardom this year, it could go a long way towards keeping the indomitable Spurs’ streak alive into the 2020s.