Heading into the 2023-24 NBA season, we explore why Devin Vassell may be in for another breakout season for the San Antonio Spurs.
All the hype in San Antonio recently has been about Victor Wembanyama, and that’s pretty reasonable. But currently, Devin Vassell is actually the best player on the Spurs, and he’s primed for a second consecutive breakout year.
After being drafted 11th overall by the Spurs in 2020, Vassell has gotten better every single year. In his first year, he occupied more of a rotational 3-and-D role off the bench but was pretty impressive at times for a rookie. In his second year after the departure of DeMar DeRozan to Chicago, Devin hit double figures for the first time in his career and established himself as a key piece in the Spurs’ future.
Last year though in Year 3, Devin took his game to another level.
In the 2022-23 season, Vassell averaged a career-high 18.5 points per game, as San Antonio went through a transitional phase after the loss of Dejounte Murray. This year Devin really established himself as a true, high-volume 3-level scorer. He upped his 3-point attempts from 5.4 to 7 a game, but actually increased his percentage from 36 to 39 percent.
He firmly cemented his in-between game with sidestep midranges and floaters. And he even became a really strong finisher at the bucket, utilizing some sneaky bounce. Overall this year Devin became one of the most underrated young stars in the league.
Vassell was critically underrecognized for his 3rd NBA campaign, but that may have been due to the fact he only played 38 games. This was because of a knee injury that sidelined him for two months during the middle of the year. Fortunately, he did return near the end of the season and did look healthy which is a great sign, and during this preseason he’s looked even better than the man we saw before.
The Spurs are now a team (because of Wemby) that will have more eyes on them than we’ve seen in a while. And although Wembanyama is most people’s main attraction, they’ll be pleasantly surprised by what they see from Vassell this season. He’s a young star to look out for.