Gregg Popovich likely couldn’t be happier about his two players who will develop this week in the Impact League in Las Vegas.
Both James Anderson and Kawhi Leonard have big upside during their professional careers. And both will be an integral part of the Spurs team next season after the lockout ends.
With the inactivity surrounding the NBA during the lockout, the chance for any development for young players is critical. Particularly so for Anderson and Leonard, who will be beginning this week.
Anderson looked to have made a big start for the Spurs last season before sustaining a stress fracture in his right foot. The team erupted on a fast start while he was out of the lineup. By the time he returned, his place in the rotation had been snapped up by others.
But Anderson is a critical part of this team and could legitimately challenge for playing time if he reports to training camp ready to play. The Las Vegas action will help him.
Leonard needs much work against top competition. The Spurs love his athleticism and competitive zeal, but he needs to play against the very best to accurately gauge how he much he will be able to help the team this season.
There’s a chance that the Impact League games will be streamed. If they are, bet a lot of laptops on Spurs Lane will be glued to the action for a glimpse of Leonard and Anderson.
Their performance will be vital as they prepare for the upcoming season — whenever it starts.