The San Antonio Spurs will enter next season with a new-look team after losing several key players, including long-time Spur Patty Mills. With Mills now a part of the Brooklyn Nets, the Spurs will have a hole to fill at the backup point guard position.
With Murray likely playing more minutes next season, the backup point guard role could be less significant compared to previous seasons, albeit still an important one. In the event that Murray comes down with an injury or needs rest, though, San Antonio will need a capable player to play behind him to ensure that the team’s offense doesn’t struggle in his absence.
Fortunately, San Antonio has several options at their disposal that can help to fill the void left by Mills, including Bryn Forbes and Tre Jones. With that in mind, here are all of the Spurs’ options at backup point guard next season (ranked in no particular order).
Bryn Forbes, who spent last season with the championship-winning Milwaukee Bucks, signed with the Spurs this off-season. Although the decision to bring him back is questionable, Forbes appears to have earned the trust of the front office and the coaching staff during the four seasons he spent with the Spurs. In fact, it appears that they may even play him at backup point guard next season despite limited experience playing the position.
While Forbes isn’t a point guard in the traditional sense, he looks comfortable with the ball in his hands and has a low turnover percentage. Additionally, the Spurs also have a history of trying to convert sharpshooting shooting guards into point guards, with players like Roger Mason Jr. and Gary Neal serving as prime examples from the past. While the results aren’t necessarily encouraging, Forbes’ shooting ability provides the team with the closest thing they have to Mills.
With Forbes playing point guard, San Antonio would likely have at least one sharpshooter on the floor at all times (with the other being Doug McDermott). Furthermore, he’ll likely share playmaking responsibilities with Lonnie Walker and Thaddeus Young, much like how Neal and Mills did with Manu Ginobili and Boris Diaw. Without having to create as much, Forbes can continue to focus on scoring.
That being said, there are definitely some downsides to having Forbes as the team’s backup point guard, particularly on defense. While he’ll likely be playing fewer minutes than he did as a starter during his previous stint with the team, Forbes still ranks as one of the NBA’s worst defensive players. Simply having him on the court would be a big defensive liability, whereas a player like Tre Jones is already a good defender. Rather than creating shots for them as a playmaker, Forbes could also take shots away from Walker and Devin Vassell, both of whom are primed to take steps forward next season.
That said, I believe that Forbes could be the frontrunner due to his sharpshooting. After all, he shot a staggering 45% from three for the world champion Bucks last season. Meanwhile, his shooting was certainly missed on the 24th ranked Spurs.