Regardless of how you feel about Stern, this is without a doubt a great moment captured tonight, showing the changing of the guard in the NBA. David J. Stern has worked his 30th and final NBA Draft, while handing over the keys to Adam Silver.
That was just one of the crazy, hilarious, mind-boggling moments in the 2013 NBA Draft. From the Cavaliers selecting Anthony Bennett with the #1 overall pick, to Jrue Holiday getting traded to the New Orleans Pelicans for Nerlens Noel, tonight’s draft can easily be described as unpredictable.
We’ll have a full recap of the draft tomorrow, while looking towards free agency. But what really matters is how our San Antonio Spurs did tonight. The Spurs had the 28th and 58th picks in the NBA Draft and definitely drafted some guys who can help San Antonio in the short and long term. Let’s examine these guys a little closer and grade the Spurs selections.
Round 1, 28th overall: Livio Jean-Charles, Forward, France, 6’9″, 217 pounds
Jean-Charles is a 19-year-old forward from France, who currently plays for the basketball club Asvel, which Tony Parker has a minority stake in. The athletic combo forward averaged just 3.1 points a game for Asvel, in limited minutes, but what really stands out was his performance at the 2013 Nike Hoops Summit in Portland, where LJC put up 27 points and 13 rebounds.
But Livio Jean-Charles won’t be making an impact any time soon. He’ll be stashed overseas for at least one more season, as he’s still growing physically and continuing to develop his game.
Here’s some highlights of LJC’s Nike Hoops Summit performance:
Round 2, 58th overall: DeShaun Thomas, Forward, Ohio State, 6’7″, 220 pounds
Oh, DeShaun Thomas. The man who wouldn’t give the San Antonio Spurs his phone number, unless they guaranteed to draft him. Well here you are, Mr. Thomas. A member of the silver and black.
Thomas is without a doubt a great scorer. His shot is smooth and he has the ability to make baskets from any spot on the floor. He does struggle at creating space for himself because of his lack of quickness, but he’s great at finishing around the rim, and with the Spurs system, he won’t be isolated to create for himself too often.
DeShaun Thomas is a pretty terrible rebounder for his size and a below average defender, but Pop and the coach staff will put him in positions to succeed on defense…that is, if he makes the team. He’ll most likely be given a chance to prove himself in Summer League.
Here’s some highlights of Thomas’ workout with the Spurs:
The biggest story line of tonight’s draft, is with Livio Jean-Charles staying overseas, that’s nearly $1 million in cap money they save, since LJC would receive a guaranteed contract as a first round pick. Even in his post-draft interview, R.C. Buford mentioned that freeing up cap space now and in the future was part of the reason for the draft selection. And Thomas has to earn his spot, but even if he makes the team, he would make be replacing DeJuan Blair at a cheaper cost.
If the Spurs are trying to maximize their cap space, we could see Matt Bonner become an amnesty victim, giving the Spurs nearly $16 million to play with, before signing Ginobili or Splitter. So with that, I give the Spurs draft a B+. This draft won’t impact San Antonio for at least a couple seasons, but the money they’re trying to save for this years free agent class is more important.
What do you guys think about the Spurs draft? Happy with the selections or were you hoping for a more immediate impact? Let us know in the comments below.
Go Spurs Go.