Preview: San Antonio Spurs vs. Atlanta Hawks – Summer League Game #4

The San Antonio Spurs will attempt to win their first game of their 2022 NBA summer league campaign on Thursday evening. After beginning summer league with three straight losses, the Spurs will hope that their luck changes against the Atlanta Hawks. The Hawks enter this game with a record of 1-2.

Time is running out for San Antonio to get a W in Las Vegas. After today’s game, the Spurs have only one more game before summer league comes to a close. Their losses have come against the Cleveland Cavaliers (GRADES), Golden State Warriors (GRADES) and Houston Rockets (GRADES).

Spurs and Hawks: The Dejounte Murray Trade Aftermath

In one of the most dramatic trades in Spurs history, San Antonio traded Dejounte Murray to Atlanta along with Jock Landale for three first round draft picks, a first round pick swap and the partially guaranteed contract of Danilo Gallinari. Two of the three first rounders and the pick swap the Spurs received from the Hawks are unprotected.

While none of the players in today’s summer league game were involved in the trade, the deal will undoubtedly be discussed at length during the broadcast. It wouldn’t be surprising if Murray is on the sidelines taking in the action.

Although Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley weren’t in the trade, they will surely be impacted by it as soon as their rookie year. That’s because Branham and Wesley are both players who will likely soak up some of the extra minutes created by Murray’s departure.

San Antonio Spurs Summer League Injury Report

Unfortunately, injuries have taken their toll on the Spurs in summer league. Jeremy Sochan, the ninth overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, hasn’t played a second of summer league basketball due to a combination of health and safety protocols and a hamstring injury. Joe Wieskamp, a second round pick last year for the Spurs, injured his ankle in practice leading up to summer league. 

Joshua Primo is the latest Spurs player to be sidelined. After participating in the first two games, he was forced to enter health and safety protocols. He’ll end up missing the final three summer league games.

Darius Days and the Final Two-Way Contract

Each NBA team is allowed to have a pair of players signed to a two-way contract. Players on two-way contracts typically split their time between the NBA and the G League. Thus, they don’t make as much money as a player signed to a typical NBA minimum contract but they make more than a typical G League player.

So far, the Spurs have used one of their two-way contracts on Dominick Barlow, an undrafted big man from Overtime Elite. In summer league, Barlow has exhibited an enticing array of talents and physical tools.

It’s believed that the three leading candidates for the final two-way contract are Joe Wieskamp, Darius Days and Jordan Hall. With Wieskamp out due to injury and Hall not doing much to separate himself, Days has jumped to the head of the line and has been impossible to ignore.

The burly big man out of LSU is averaging 13.7 points and 10.0 rebounds in 21.9 minutes per game. He has hit 55.6% of his shots from the field, including 37.5% of his three-pointers. At 6-foot-7 and 240 pounds, he has illustrated his impressive strength, his knack for rebounding and his feathery touch from the perimeter.

If Days has a strong finish to summer league, he has a great chance of locking up the other two-way contract from the Spurs.

The Spurs are the Favorites to Win

Vegas hasn’t given up on these summer league Spurs. In fact, oddsmakers have the Spurs as 2.5-point favorites over the Hawks. The over/under for this game is set at 174 points.

No team wants to leave Vegas without a win. Due to that extra bit of motivation, the smart money should be on the Spurs to cover.