What do all of these players have in common?
They were all late first-round draft picks by the San Antonio Spurs. All of them have gone on to have successful NBA careers, some more successful than others, obviously.
Spurs General Manager RC Buford has a tremendous track record finding and developing talent late in the first round, which is something a lot of rival GM’s struggle with.
This year, the San Antonio Spurs have the 30th overall pick in the first round of the 2014 NBA Draft. So who will Buford take this year to be the next Tony Parker or Tiago Splitter? Here are three players who will be available late in the first round that would be great picks for the Spurs:
1. Kyle Anderson, Forward, UCLA 6’9” – 230 – Sophomore
UCLA’s Kyle Anderson is a very skilled forward with a high basketball IQ, and is a point guard trapped in a power forward’s body.
As a sophomore he averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and, most impressively, 6.5 assists.
He has a knack for being a playmaker and is very unselfish. He can also score the basketball from anywhere on the court, whether it be shooting a three or posting up a smaller forward.
His biggest weakness is his athleticism: he is not quick and will have trouble beating NBA defenders off of the dribble.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) June 12, 2014
His passing and playmaking ability would fit nicely into the Spurs system and eradicate any deficiencies he may have with his athleticism. If I were Kyle, I would walk up to Boris Diaw with a pen and pad of paper and never leave his side, because he has the potential to be Boris 2.0, but better.
2. Jarnell Stokes, Power Forward/Center, Tennessee 6’8” – 260 – Junior
Tennessee’s Jarnell Stokes is the strongest player in this year’s NBA Draft. He has been quoted saying his biggest strength is his strength.
Jarnell Stokes is simply a huge man, he’s impossible to move, solid lower body and just powers through. His shot is looking better too. — Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) May 8, 2014
While he may not be as talented as Kenneth Faried, there are a lot of similarities to their games. Last season as a junior Stokes averaged 15.1 points and 10.6 rebounds per game. He is a ball hawk on both the defensive and offensive boards.
What he lacks in skill, he makes up for it with effort and enthusiasm, though he has shown a little offensive touch around the rim. If he doesn’t make it in the NBA, I would advise Jerry Jones to give him a call because he may be the next Antonio Gates/Tony Gonzalez.
3. Vasilije Micic, Guard, Serbia 6’5” – 200 – 2/13/1994
You know RC Buford and company would love to get there hands on the next great international prospect, and Vasilije Micic may just be that guy. He is most comfortable playing point guard and setting up his teammates. He has a lot of size and can play both guard positions. He has a knack for getting to the rim and either drawing a foul or making a play for a teammate. He is also a very capable outside shooter.
There is a lot of Manu Ginobli to his game.
The San Antonio Spurs are the NBA Champions. Obviously, a lot of things can change with this roster within the next couple of weeks. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli could all just ride off into the sunset, and that would not surprise anybody. The same can be said for Gregg Popovich.
Whether everyone comes back or the roster has some holes to fill, these three guys would fit the Spurs system and help continue the great success this franchise has had over the last fifteen plus years.