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1 Spurs player in danger of losing starting job in 2022-23 NBA training camp

Spurs, Doug McDermott, Spurs roster

The San Antonio Spurs seem to be finally embracing the rebuilding mode. With the NBA training camp officially starting next week, head coach Gregg Popovich will make his final observations to determine the starting lineup. Regardless of what he decides, fans will see a very different Spurs team.

After losing three straight years in the play-in tournament, San Antonio decided it was time for a fresh start. The team traded starting point guard Dejounte Murray, who just came off his first All-Star appearance, to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for mostly first-round picks.

Now, the Spurs will likely give more minutes to their young pieces such as Joshua Primo and Tre Jones. Others such as Keldon Johnson and Devin Vassell already played significant roles last season. Additionally, the team had three first-round draft selections this year, led by No. 9 Jeremy Sochan.

For all these youngsters to earn minutes, that means some veterans might have to take a step back. With that being said, here is one Spurs player that could lose his starting job in 2022-23:

Doug McDermott

After playing for five different franchises across nine seasons, it looked like Doug McDermott had finally found a home in San Antonio. The 3-point specialist was acquired from the Indiana Pacers via sign-and-trade with a three year, $41 million contract.

In his first year with the Spurs, McDermott played 51 games, starting all of them, after starting in just 43 for his entire career prior to last season. He averaged 11.3 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.3 assists, while shooting 46.2% from the field and 42.2% from beyond the arc.

However, McDermott’s season ended prematurely in March due to a grade 3 ankle sprain. His time on the sidelines allowed other players such as Zach Collins to earn more playing time. Now, entering the 2022-23 season, things look complicated for the former Creighton standout to keep his starting job.

The Spurs used their lottery pick to select power forward Jeremy Sochan out of Baylor. The Polish-American is a more defensive-minded player, averaging 1.3 steals and 0.7 blocks per night despite only starting one game his freshman year. Despite not being an offensive threat like McDermott, Sochan might earn some meaningful minutes with San Antonio moving towards a youth movement.

Also, there are some other players that might affect McDermott’s role with the franchise. Both Joshua Primo and Tre Jones have the chance of starting as guards this season. That means Devin Vassell might move to the small forward position. Consequently, Keldon Johnson can become a power forward since he can space the floor. The Olympic gold-medalist made 39.8% of his 3-point shots last season.

Turning 31 years old in January, McDermott is the second-oldest player on the Spurs roster. He is just behind Gorgui Dieng by less than two years. Having the journeyman start might mean taking away minutes from the rookies and other young pieces. That would go against how the Spurs are building their team for the season.

Other than Dejounte Murray, the team also traded Derrick White and let Lonnie Walker IV leave in free agency. Most pieces that were “in-between” youth and experienced are now out of the picture. Because of that, McDermott could be the next one in the mix.

He is not a youngster but seems to still have some years to produce at a good level. Unfortunately for him, it might not be in San Antonio. Fans should expect his role to significantly decrease in this upcoming season. Also, it would not be a surprise if he does not finish 2022-23 in Spurs uniform.