HOF’er George Karl believes Spurs’ Wembanyama needs veterans surrounding him

The former Spurs guard opines what the Spurs roster needs to help Wembanyama.

SAN ANTONIO — With his rookie campaign over and capped with the 2023-24 Rookie of the Year Award honor, San Antonio Spurs‘ Victor Wembanyama will look to get better heading into his sophomore season.

However, the team will also look to improve, and if left up to Basketball Hall of Famer George Karl, he’d start by adding veteran players to the San Antonio roster to help the NBA Rookie of the Year.

The former Spurs guard recently spoke with Scoop B Radio about the team’s need to surround Wemby with veteran players. 

“I would probably have to say that he needs more than one veteran. In today’s game, most teams that are rebuilding do it totally young. I don’t think that works,” said Karl. “I think that you have to have old and you have to have new.”

Last season, the Spurs had their youngest roster ever since Gregg Popovich became coach in 1996, with an average age of 23.5. The roster included 14 of 18 players who were 24 years old or younger, and it was the youngest team in the NBA by age.

Throughout the season, losses could be pinned on youth and inexperience, but by the season’s end, the young Spurs turned it around, winning four of their last six games, knocking off the Knicks and Nuggets and forcing the 76ers to a double-overtime game before losing.

That showed tremendous strides and a bright future.

“We gave them a little bit of what it would be like moving forward as far as how the team is going,” Tre Jones said. “These last few weeks or months, we’ve been playing better. We’ve been winning more games and been in a lot more games.”

RELATED: Tre Jones says Spurs gave fans a look ahead at great things to come

Karl did provide more thought on the Spurs needing to bring in veteran players for Wembanyama. Specifically, he feels a veteran leader can be the missing piece to help push Wemby to improve.

“I don’t know if it’s a point guard or just a guy that’s a great pro that can teach him [Wembanyama] how to be either by example; a leader by doing the actions and not talking,” he said.

The Spurs are sitting on a treasure chest of assets to bring in a veteran who’ll fit the team and Wemby’s needs if they choose to.

From draft picks (first and second) to the financial cap space and players on the roster to use in potential future deals, the Spurs can undoubtedly bring in the right vets.

On the other hand, the young Spurs did gain valuable experience, and several will not be considered “young” NBA players next season, such as Jones, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, and Jeremy Sochan.

“It’s not like we’re starting next year with a bunch of veterans. We’ll still be young but we’ll be able to pick up where we left off for sure. Be able to just go with the chemistry that we built throughout the year,” said Jones.

But for Karl, the key to a young, rebuilding team is a veteran voice on the court and in the locker room.

“Too many kids today think that leadership is your voice. Leadership is your actions. Leadership is the ability to show people that to do the right thing is how you act or how you perform,” Karl said.

Let us know what you think, San Antonio Spurs fans. Follow us on X at @KENS5 and @JeffGSpursZone.

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