The San Antonio Spurs did not have a pick in the first round of Thursday night’s draft so like all of us they had to wait for their shot of getting a player to help what has already come to be a pretty good team with the pick-up of Richard Jefferson in the trade later this week with the Milwaukee Bucks. The Spurs front office has been praised as being the best, and I feel we all will agree that it is the best. I feel they proved how good they are with the three picks we came through with.
Pick Number One (37th Overall):
With the 37th pick of the 2009 NBA Draft the San Antonio Spurs select, DeJuan Blair from the University of Pittsburgh. First thing that came to my head and I turned to my wife and told her, he has a big time wingspan but I know that he has some problems with his knee. Yeah I said knee but later was corrected by good ole ESPN when they stated he has problems in both knees.
Blair was supposed to be first rounder but given his knee status he dropped in the draft. Hell the front office sees something, that must be that 7’2″ wingspan Blair has and his ability to rebound on the offensive end and score.
Last season he was named a First Team All-American by the Associated Press, the Co-Big East Player of the Year and earned First Team All-Conference honors. Blair led the nation in offensive rebounding (5.6 rpg), ranked fourth in total rebounding (12.3 rpg) and 19th in field goal percentage (.593). For the season he averaged 15.7 points and 1.54 steals in 35 games. Blair recorded 21 double-doubles, including two 20-point 20-rebound games. In the NCAA Tournament he averaged 16.8 points and 13.8 rebounds in four games being named to the East Regional All-Tournament Team. As a freshman Blair was named the Big East Co-Rookie of the Year and was an All-Big East Honorable Mention. He averaged 11.6 points, 9.1 rebounds and 1.68 steals in 37 games. He scored in double figures 25 times and posted 14 double-doubles. For his career Blair appeared in 72 games for the Panthers, averaging 13.6 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.61 steals while shooting .568 (394-694) from the field.
Impressive season he had lsat year and also he was big in the tournament. Since he fell into the Spurs laps in the second round they don’t have to guarantee him any money so the worries about his knees are not a real big concern.
A steal in my eyes for the Spurs at 37. He fills our needs of needing a big man. He has size (6’7″) and is an aggressive player.
Pick Number Two (#51 Overall)
With their second pick in the second round of the draft the Spurs drafted Jack McClinton a 6’1″ guard out of the University of Miami. McClinton is a great combo guard for San Antonio. Though he is short, he still can score the ball and make things happen.
McClinton averaged 19.3 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.8 assists in 32 games. What is more impressive is the way he played last year against number one ranked teams: In five games vs. No.1 ranked opponents he averaged 29.8 points and 5.2 three-pointers per game. During his junior season McClinton led the ACC in free throw percentage (.919, 114-124, 3rd in NCAA) and ranked second in the league in three-point shooting (.427, 94-220).
I would not be surpised if we see McClinton suiting up for the Spurs. If not he will be down on the d-league in Austin but it will not be long until this kid hits the floor in a Spurs uni.
The Final Pick (#53 Overall)
With their final pick in the draft the Spurs selected Nando Del Colo from France. Now you knew that we were not going to come out of this draft without taking an international player did you? Draft Express raves about this kid and his ability for passing and court vision. He is another combo guard and not knowing about his contract situation in France, I feel we won’t see him on the floor this year. But from what it sounds like he is worth the wait.
Summing it Up!
I must say what a week this has been for the Spurs. First we trade for Richard Jefferson for what seemed to be for free as the Bucks sent Oberto to Detroit and Bowen’s contract is rumored to possibly be bought out by the Bucks and he to be a free agent. Drafting three players that will in fact be a good fit for the team and also for the d-league as well (most of us know we probably won’t see all three in Spurs unis).
I for one am excited by the way the team is shaping up and we have not hit free agency yet!
Let’s Hear Your Voice (POLL)