Spurs Season-In-Review: Blake Wesley 'Getting Better' With Time, Looking Forward to 3rd NBA Season

San Antonio Spurs guard Blake Wesley didn't stuff the score sheet by any means, but he did commit to learning in a year reserved for team growth. That earned him his chance, which he's ready to make the most of moving forward.
Apr 14, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Blake Wesley (14) drives to the basket during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Frost Bank Center.
Apr 14, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Blake Wesley (14) drives to the basket during the second half against the Detroit Pistons at Frost Bank Center. / Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports
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Blake Wesley can't afford to stay away from offseason training for more than two weeks.

The San Antonio Spurs guard — fresh off of his second season in South Texas — isn't a rookie anymore. He might be young, but many of the players on Gregg Popovich's record are. Seeing as such, he doesn't any excuse. And he isn't making any.

"I can't take too much time (off) because of cardio," Wesley explained during his exit interview for the 2023-24 season. "But I'm going to take a week or two off, and then get right back to work."

Cardio. It's the simplest form of exercise, especially for someone like Wesley who's now far used to the grueling schedule that comes with being a professional basketball player, but it's important. And Wesley tries his hardest not to forget that fact.

That's just what he's come to realize as a rising third-year.

“(Wesley) is somebody who is improving with more minutes,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of his player's development in Year 2. “It is hard to play very few minutes and look like you are improving, but he is playing enough now to where he can make decisions and learn either that ... the decision should have been different, or (it) was a great decision.

"He's understanding what is expected of a point guard at this level, and he's getting better at it."

Mar 23, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA;  San Antonio Spurs guard Blake Wesley (14) warms up before the game against the Phoenix Suns at Frost Bank Center.
Mar 23, 2024; San Antonio, Texas, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Blake Wesley (14) warms up before the game against the Phoenix Suns at Frost Bank Center. / Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports

When you look at Wesley's stats this season, you won't notice anything spectacular. The second-year point guard averaged just 4.4 points, 2.7 assists and 1.5 rebounds on the season in 61 appearances and three starts. From the floor, he shot near 50 percent but an abysmal 20 percent from 3-point range, which now sits atop his priority list this offseason.

"I really want to work on my 3-ball," Wesley said. "Getting that consistent. Also, I'm continuing to work on my defense and decision making; getting in shape."

READ MORE: 3 Takeaways From Spurs' Post-Christmas Loss to Utah Jazz

Everything on Wesley's list is simple, yet fundamental. And for a player looking to carve out a spot for himself on a Popovich-led roster, fundamentals are imperative. That's the difference with Wesley this season, however. He might not have been lighting up the stat sheet, but he was learning how to.

In a year of learning for the entire Spurs roster, Wesley fully committed to doing so.

"We grew throughout the year," Wesley said, answering a question about what he took away from the season. "Even through the ups and downs, we continued to play great. Play hard. We continued to be good teammates to each other."

Wesley got his chance to shine with more minutes toward the end of December and beyond. He proved to be a spark off of the bench, which allowed him more minutes before they were again cut down — a byproduct of his declining performances — but took that more as a sign to work harder than to give up.

He did. And while his second year with the Spurs was more a chance for him to experiment, he's ready to bring what he learned and combine it with the improvements he's looking to make in the offseason. If that goes well, he'll be in a much better place.

Safe to say, he's ready to do that. "After his (no longer than two weeks) break."

"Going to the gym late at night helped me build my confidence," Wesley said of his work ethic despite an inconsistent role. "I just played hard, which starts from my defense. Defense turns into offense."

"Year 3 is going to be big. I'm excited, and I'm ready to get to work."

Season Grade: C


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Matt Guzman

MATT GUZMAN

Matt Guzman is a sports journalist and storyteller from Austin, Texas. He serves as a credentialed reporter and site manager for San Antonio Spurs On SI and a staff writer for multiple collegiate sites in the same network. In the world of professional sports, he is a firm believer that athletes are people, too, and intends to tell stories of players and teams’ true, behind-the-scenes character that otherwise would not be seen through strong narrative writing, hooking ledes and passionate words.