How did Austin do last season?
The Toros had a rough year last season as they finished up at 19-31. Only Erie and Delaware had worse records, so they will definitely be looking to make some significant strides in 2014-15.
Ronald "Flip" Murray was the leading scorer for the Toros at 21.8 points per game. The San Antonio Spurs utilized their affiliate regularly as Austin Daye, Nando De Colo and Aron Baynes all performed well while on assignments.
How good can they be this year?
Year-to-year predictions are difficult in the D-League because the rosters are revamped so much, however I can see the Spurs winning more than last year's total of 19 games with their new group of players. They have some returning players in Greg Gantt and JaMychal Green to provide some leadership. Bryce Cotton and Josh Davis are their affiliate players this season after both played with the parent club during the preseason.
Most likely call-up?
Erik Murphy is my answer. Murphy played in 23 games for the Chicago Bulls last season and with their loaded front court he didn't see much time however he has an opportunity to shine for Austin in the early going. Murphy was selected third overall in this year's D-League Draft and it's only a matter of time before a team in the NBA needs the services of a capable big man. Murphy has a unique ability that is becoming more commonplace for power forwards these days, and that is to stretch the floor out to the 3-point line. Pair that with his post capabilities and I would be surprised if Murphy finishes out half of the season with Austin.
Most intriguing potential assignee?
The clear answer here is Kyle Anderson. The Spurs selected Anderson 30th overall in the 2014 NBA Draft and he's only appeared in three games so far this season. San Antonio is such a deep team and Poppovich likes to regularly rest his starters, so he could only see limited time in Austin but that time will be fun to watch. Anderson is a unique talent as a 6'9 player who played point guard in college he possesses a rare skill-set for someone his size. If and when he's assigned to Austin everyone should be on triple-double watch.
Will Bryce Cotton emerge as one of the D-League's top scoring options?
Bryce Cotton was a big-time scorer in the college ranks and while I'm sure he would have preferred to be kept by the San Antonio Spurs, after playing with them for summer league and the preseason, he is going to have ample opportunity to strut his stuff for Austin. I expect Cotton to be around the 20 point per game area for Austin this year and if he can show improved 3-point shooting (36.1 percent during four years at Providence) he might just be the first call-up from Austin.