Gregg Popovich is currently engaged with Team USA as they prepare for the FIBA Basketball World Cup in Shanghai later this month and he will be keen for his team, devoid of the biggest stars from the NBA, to return with a gold medal. But a certain amount of his attention is also likely to be on his regular job which is as head coach and general manager of the San Antonio Spurs.

Spurs made the playoffs last season but the Western Conference has gotten much stronger this season with the arrival of Kawhi Leonard to Los Angeles Clippers and the Los Angeles Lakers acquiring Anthony Davis. They are the current favorites for the 2020 NBA championship while the Houston Rockets have also added Russell Westbrook to their ranks.

According to San Antonio Express News’ Mike Finger, Popovich is relatively happy with the roster he has available for the new season. Spurs could improve as a team this season but could still end up missing out on the playoffs due to the intense competition for places.

DeMar DeRozan
DeMar DeRozan #10 of the Raptors looks on during the closing second of the Raptors 106-98 loss to the Washington Wizards during Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC., April 22, 2018. Rob Carr/Getty Images

It was believed that they could go into a rebuilding phase and trade DeMar DeRozan during the offseason by using him as “trade bait” to acquire future draft picks but they have retained the former Toronto Raptors shooting guard/small forward. The report even claims that the San Antonio franchise are exploring the possibility of handing DeRozan a maximum contract extension before the season begins.

“Popovich genuinely likes the group he has assembled in San Antonio, and after outsiders speculated DeMar DeRozan might be used as trade bait this offseason, all indications are that the Spurs value his presence and want to keep him around. They have not yet offered him a maximum contract extension, but they have not ruled out the possibility of doing so before the season begins, either,” Finger wrote for the San Antonio Express.

Popovich will be entering his 24th season as the head coach of the Spurs and the five-time NBA champion and three-time coach of the year certainly has his task cut out if his team are to make the post-season playoffs. However, his current focus will be on preparing Team USA for the World Cup which begins on Aug. 31.