2018-19 Season Preview: San Antonio Spurs

Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan, acquired in a trade with the Raptors, has become the new face of the franchise.

Coach: Gregg Popovich (entering his 23rd season, 1,197-54, .689).

Last Season: 47-35, lost in first round of playoffs to Golden State, 4-1.

Key Returnees: LaMarcus Aldridge, Pau Gasol, Bryn Forbes, Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, Davis Bertans.

Key Additions: DeMar DeRozan (Toronto), Jakob Poeltl (Toronto), Dante Cunningham (Brooklyn), Marco Belinelli (Philadelphia), Quincy Pondexter (Chicago), Lonnie Walker IV (rookie, Miami).

Key Losses: Kawhi Leonard (Toronto), Tony Parker (Charlotte), Manu Ginobili (retired), Danny Green (Toronto), Kyle Anderson (Memphis).

Outlook: With the bizarre Kawhi Leonard situation behind them, the Spurs now face the reality of being a team without a superstar. LaMarcus Aldridge is an All-Star, as is DeMar DeRozan, acquired in the deal that sent Leonard and veteran swingman Danny Green to Toronto and also landed promising young big man Jakob Poeltl. DeRozan is not the player Leonard is, but he was much more than that last season when Leonard played in only nine games. It will be interesting to see how much Gregg Popovich’s influence has on DeRozan and Poeltl. San Antonio brought back Marco Belineli for a second tour of duty and his shooting (37.7 percent from deep for his career) will be vital in trying to create space for Aldridge and DeRozan to operate. San Antonio also added free agents Dante Cunningham and Quincy Pondexter and guard Lonnie Walker IV in the draft. However, watching the Spurs without Leonard, Green, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobli and Kyle Anderson will be the lead story of this season.