The San Antonio Spurs held the 26th pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. They had a few intriguing options on the board. R.J. Hunter, Kevon Looney, and Montrezl Harrell were all available, instead they took the “usual” Spurs route. What I mean by this, is that they took a player that many fans have little knowledge of, usually an international prospect.
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The Spurs selected Nikola Milutinov with the pick. Milutinov is a 7-footer from Serbia. Milutinov will likely be a draft and stash pick. He is only 20-years old with a terrific feel for the game. Milutinov also has a nice shooting touch, the problem is that he is still a bit raw. He will have to adjust to the more physical NBA style of play and he will have to develop in the post. Nevertheless he can become a good replacement for Tiago Splitter in the near future.
As a result of picking the Serbian big, the Spurs passed up on Harrell. Harrell was selected with the 32nd
March 20, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Louisville Cardinals forward Montrezl Harrell (24) reacts following a scoring play against UC Irvine Anteaters during the first half of the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at KeyArena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
pick by the Houston Rockets. Harrell had a successful three year career at Louisville. Harrell averaged 15.7 points and 9.2 rebounds as a junior with the Cardinals. While Harrell is only 6’8 he plays bigger than his frame suggests and is terrific at running the floor.
At the Las Vegas Summer League, Harrell posted averages of 16.5 points and 8 rebounds in four contests. Harrell’s final Summer League game was a big one. He went for 24 points and 12 rebounds (10 offensive) against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Harrell’s game is similar to Kenneth Faried in the sense that they are both undersized but are terrific rebounders. Both players are raw offensively, but Harrell certainly has a better shooting touch.
At the end of the day, the Spurs will appreciate what Milutinov brings to the table, but Harrell will be an exceptional role player.