Latest Spurs injury update quells any concern over falling lottery odds

The San Antonio Spurs are all but calling it quits on the season with their most recent slew of injury updates, putting any concerns over their falling draft lottery odds to bed.

Brooklyn Nets v San Antonio Spurs
Brooklyn Nets v San Antonio Spurs / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

It has been nearly a month since the San Antonio Spurs got eliminated from playoff contention, so they’re playing for pride and securing their position atop the NBA Draft Lottery at this stage in the 2023-24 campaign.

Sitting in last place in the Western Conference with an 18-57 record, the Spurs have won three of their past four games and four of their last 10 contests thanks to the continued ascension of rookie phenom Victor Wembanyama throughout the year, which only hurts their lottery odds amid a lost season.

However, the latest injury updates surrounding talented young wing players Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan should alleviate any concerns about the team potentially winning enough games down the stretch of the season to squander their chance of becoming the fourth team in NBA history to have the No. 1 overall pick in consecutive drafts.

Spurs shut down Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan for rest of the season

Vassell (stress reaction in right foot) and Sochan (left ankle surgery) will miss the remainder of the season, per Shams Charania of The Athletic. 

The decision to shut both players down for the rest of the year suggests the Spurs have officially waved the white flag and are embracing the tank with only seven games remaining on their schedule.

Vassell averaged career-highs in points (19.5) and assists (4.1) per game this season while shooting a career-best 47.2 percent from the floor across 68 games, looking like a solid complimentary fit alongside Wembanyama after signing a five-year, $135 million contract extension that keeps him in San Antonio through 2028.

Sochan scored 11.6 points per game, adding 6.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game, and raised his three-point shooting percentage from 24.6 as a rookie to 30.8 in 2023-24, showcasing significant improvement, albeit he still has a ways to go before being a reliable shooter.

San Antonio’s recent hot streak has opened the door for the Charlotte Hornets (18-56) to leapfrog them in the lottery odds and knock them out of the top three, reducing their chances of landing the top pick in the 2024 NBA Draft from 14 percent to 12.5 percent. While it may not feel like a big difference, it could have monumental ramifications on the direction the Spurs take this offseason.