First, let me introduce myself. My name is Cade. I am 12. I’ve been following basketball for as long as I can remember, and my dream is to be in an NBA front office someday. My dad wrote for Pounding The Rock during the Spurs’ championship run in 2014, but I don’t remember much from that time. But I do know basketball runs through my brain 24/7. I’ve been working on my preferred picks for the Spurs over the past few weeks and wanted to share them with all of you.
4. Moussa Diabate, Big
Diabate has all the tools to be a good rim-running big in this league, he just needs to put it all together. He has length and athleticism to become a good shot blocker, but he sometimes gets lost on defense. On offense, he is a great finisher around the rim but isn’t a consistent enough shooter to stretch the floor. Diabate runs the court well and has shown flashes as a passer. He fills a frontcourt need for the Spurs and has room to grow as an upside swing.
3. Keon Ellis, Wing
Ellis had a successful collegiate career as the ultimate role player. Ellis is not going to completely wow you with jaw-dropping highlights or insane stat lines, but he does the dirty work on both ends. At 6’6” with a 6’10” wingspan, Ellis can guard multiple positions out on the perimeter, and can add more versatility to an already solid defensive team. On offense, he can hit spot-up threes and doesn’t need the ball in his hands to be effective. He might not have the upside you would want on a rebuilding team, but he will hustle on every play.
2. Caleb Houston, Wing
Caleb Houston had top-ten buzz coming into the year, but disappointed many with his poor play. He was labeled as a three-point shooter but didn’t knock down the shots at a high clip. He still showed all the tools that made him a highly-rated prospect early on, and he has a great looking shot. At 6’8”, he has great size for a wing defender and moves his feet well. If you look past the percentages and per-game numbers, you can see a raw talent with the upside to turn into a future starter for the Spurs.
1. Jaylin Williams, Big
If the Spurs have a shot to get Williams in the second round, I am all over it. Williams is a high IQ defender who can communicate, switch out onto the perimeter, and is extremely good at protecting the rim with his uncanny ability to draw charges. On offense, Williams is a strong screener and a good short-roll passer. He showed some promise as a shooter, but that is probably something he needs to work on in the NBA. Getting a smart big who can do a little bit of everything can prove highly valuable.
4. Hugo Besson, Guard
Besson is a silky-smooth point guard with great ball skills. He has tight handles and a wide variety of moves he can string together. One big knock on him is his size and frame. Those concerns, couple with his poor effort on defense, may not make him the best option for the Spurs. San Antonio has several guards and they need frontcourt help, so I would be fine if they passed on taking Besson in this draft.
3. Gabriele Procida, Wing
Procida is a buttery, 6’7” wing, with elite athleticism. Procida is probably not a name many people have heard, but he looks like a legitimate NBA player. He is a bouncy above-the-rim finisher who can space the floor for Dejounte Murray, and he moves well without the ball. On defense, he has enough size and length to be serviceable. He might be a swing, but it could be helpful to get someone like Procida later in the first round.
2. Jake LaRavia, Forward
Jake LaRavia is a versatile do-it-all forward that has been skyrocketing up draft boards. LaRavia has great defensive instincts, and a sturdy frame to stay in front of his man. He can defend in the low post or switch onto smaller guards. On the offensive end, LaRavia can knock down threes, attack closeouts, and get to the rim in transition. He also has the vision to find open teammates. LaRavia is a safe bet, and at only 20-years-old, he can possibly develop into something more than a role player.
1. Dalen Terry, Guard
Dalen Terry would enter the Spurs organization and immediately become a fan favorite. He brings great energy and is an excellent communicator on both ends of the floor. Terry is a 6’7” guard with a feisty demeanor who can defend 1-3. He is incredibly versatile on that end, which fits what the Spurs seem to be leaning towards. On the other side of the ball, he can be a pick-and-roll initiator or play alongside another ball-handler as a slasher. Terry should have a humongous impact both on and off the court from day one.
4. Patrick Baldwin Jr., Forward
Baldwin was another guy who was projected inside the top half of the lottery, but after a disappointing season, he fell across some draft boards. He has a smooth jumper from deep, which would help improve the spacing for the Spurs. He played on a horrible team and opposing defender swarmed him. That won’t happen in the NBA, and he should benefit from a lesser role. But a big knock against him is his athletic ability. Baldwin tested horribly at the combine ranking near or at the bottom of every strength and agility drill. He should be a threat from beyond the arc, but he isn’t my favorite prospect.
3. Jaden Hardy, Guard
Hardy is one of the most electric guards in this class, with intriguing movement shooting an promising passing flashes. Hardy has deep range and can pull up from way beyond the three-point line. But a guard with poor defensive instincts and minimal effort is not what the Spurs should be looking for. He can play on or off the ball, so he has a lot of versatility on that end, but he just doesn’t fit San Antonio’s needs.
2. Marjon Beauchamp, Wing
Beauchamp is someone a lot of Spurs fans want for one of the later picks, and I am in on that opinion. He is a springy athlete who can run with guards in the open floor. He may also have untapped creation skills that he couldn’t showcase in the G-league alongside ball-dominant guards like Dyson Daniels and Jaden Hardy. He said the Spurs would be a dream destination for him earlier this year, and he loves what they do. I would be ecstatic to add Beauchamp to this roster.
1. Tari Eason, Forward
Tari Eason is someone a ton of people have in the lottery on their big boards, but I am a little more skeptical about him. Eason is a raw, toolsy forward who has great instincts, athletic ability, and the wingspan to be a disruptive defender in the NBA. That said, his offense is a work in progress. He is elite at attacking the rim, but with a streaky shot and limited feel, I don’t trust him to create his own shot that often. However, I would not be surprised if the Spurs decide to take him at nine.
4. Ousmane Dieng, Wing
Of all the players climbing up boards over the past couple of weeks, Dieng has been the steepest riser. After an extremely lackluster start to his season where he rarely contributed anything other than defense, he finally started showing sings of life and making shots. Dieng was also an underrated playmaker, plus he has promising upside as a smooth shot creator and versatile defender. His body isn’t fully developed and he would be somewhat of a reach at nine, but at 6 ’10” with those types of skills, the Spurs have to consider him here.
3. Dyson Daniels, Guard
Dyson Daniels is the ultimate teammate. He is always making the right reads on offense as a playmaker. His shooting splits don’t stand out at first glance, but he reportedly made major improvements to his form throughout the year. Daniels is a great on and off-ball defender who can cover 1-3, and he is widely considered one of the top tier stoppers in this draft. He might not have the most possible upside because of his inability to create his own shot, but with everything else he does on the court, that flaw can be overlooked.
2. Jalen Duren, Big
Duren is freakishly gifted with amazing size, frame, and athleticism. He is built like a bodybuilder and only 18-years-old. Duren has great timing and instincts that make him a shot-blocking force in the paint, but he also possesses the foot speed to switch out onto smaller players from time to time. On the offensive end, Duren can set sturdy screens and finish at the rim with ease because of his ridiculous measurables. He is also a talented short-roll passer, with the ability to draw attention inside the paint and make the right reads, which has many experts comparing him to Robert Williams. He is a non-shooter and his post footwork needs some improvement, but at such a young age, the Spurs could help him work on those areas over time.
1. Jeremy Sochan, Forward
Jeremy Sochan fits exactly what the Spurs desperately need, a switchy four that can guard every position and serve as a connector on offense. Sochan has the speed to defend smaller guards, but the length and size to cover dominant low post opponents. He was one of the leaders for a dominant Baylor defense last season, and he was only a freshman. With tantalizing tools and unique versatility, Sochan is going to cause opposing teams problems. On offense, Sochan makes an impact with smart passes and timely cutting. He doesn’t have the shot-creation or shot-making ability yet, but he puts his fingerprints on the game everywhere else with his hustle, character, and intangibles. He would be my pick at number nine.
So, there it is, my picks for every pick the Spurs have. I think you can catch a pattern of the types of players I like, which are versatile players with great defense. I don’t think this is the exact result that will happen on draft night, but these are the players who I believe can fit into the Spurs’ system immediately.