Preseason NBA Power Rankings: Philadelphia 76ers look like Eastern Elite

(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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NBA Power Rankings
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11. San Antonio Spurs

Unlike many of the more cut-and-dry evaluations in this year’s NBA, one of the teams with a whole lot of question marks and a very uncertain future has to be the San Antonio Spurs.

After putting up with one of the strangest, most contentious situations in recent memory with Kawhi Leonard last season, the two parties ultimately could not put their differences aside and parted ways earlier this year, officially ushering in a new, and possibly the final era in Greg Popovich‘s storied career.

But Kawhi, a certified top-5 talent, wasn’t the only player the Spurs lost going into the 2018-2019 NBA season.

With Kyle Anderson (Grizzlies), Danny Green (Raptors), Tony Parker (Hornets) and Manu Ginobili (retired) all out of the Lone Star State, the Spurs have lost a whole lot of defense over the last year, and have replaced them with a motley crew of role players known mostly for their midrange game.

Can DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge really keep Pop’s crew in contention for a Western Conference playoff spot? I do believe so.

With one of the smartest basketball minds of all time running the show, and a decided desire to forgo future draft picks in favor of immediate contributors, it’s clear the Spurs aren’t going to go peacefully into irrelevancy, but will instead rage with every ounce of their collective fervor to remain competitive in what could be Popovich’s final act. I for one will certainly be watching early and often to see how it all plays out.