Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
|Primary Backup||Kyle Anderson|
|In the Mix||Livio Jean-Charles|
In just five years, Leonard has developed from a solid defender with an ugly shot into the league’s best three-and-D player.
Last season, he surrendered a measly 0.65 points per possession to opposing ball-handlers, per NBA.com. As if that’s not ridiculous enough, Leonard shot 43.3 percent from three-point range. Among qualifying players, that was No. 4 in the NBA. The Spurs aren’t a perfect team. But as long as Leonard is healthy, they boast the superstar necessary to chase a ring.
However, we know The Claw is human because he doesn’t play 48 minutes. Kyle Anderson is the next man up at small forward, though he will also contribute at other positions.
“He can play 3, he can play 4, he can play the point guard,” Popovich said, according to Nick Moyle of the San Antonio Express-News. “He’s got enough experience under his belt where he’s ready to get his minutes and help our team.”
Popovich brought Anderson—the 2014 first-round pick—along slowly, and that should happen with 2013 top selection Livio Jean-Charles.
Barring an unexpected move, he’ll be on the roster because of a guaranteed contract (h/t Basketball Insiders). However, Jean-Charles is a project. The 6’9″, 217-pounder isn’t a perimeter shooting threat but isn’t bulky enough to defend in the post, either. Jean-Charles was a promising prospect three years ago, but if the Spurs cannot tap into that potential, his tenure may be short-lived.