San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospect: Robert Carter
By Michael Rehome
Former Maryland Terrapin Robert Carter slipped through the NBA mock drafts but still looks to be one of the draft class’s biggest sleeper picks.
If there is one team that is an expert and lives off of draft day steals it is the San Antonio Spurs. San Antonio in recent years have had picks late in draft rounds and have come up the talk of drafts.
Draft Express recently posted a mock draft that put him in the mid second-round with the Atlanta Hawks as the No. 44 selection. Carter can make a name for himself if given the right opportunity.
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It’s easy for teams to pass on Carter with his college career taking part in two schools with a red-shirt year in between. He started with Georgia Tech where he flourished overall as a power forward, averaging 11.4 points and 8.4 rebounds his sophomore year before transferring to Maryland.
His redshirt year did him wonders, and demonstrated to scouts that he is capable of difficult changes to training and diets. Maryland reached the Sweet 16 round for the first time since 2003 while he averaged 12.3 points, third most on team, and a team-leading 6.9 rebounds.
His size is intriguing, and can help the front-line of San Antonio. Carter’s 7 foot 3 inch wingspan
Mar 24, 2016; Louisville, KY, USA; Maryland Terrapins forward Robert Carter (4) shoots the ball against Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis (34) during the first half in a semifinal game in the South regional of the NCAA Tournament at KFC YUM!. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
and height makes him a difficult matchup to guard against. His strong inside game had him score on a 62.4 percent clip inside the arc while displaying good ball movement and footwork. His soft touch helps him extend his shot to the mid range, but his three point shooting remains a struggle. If selected by the Spurs, three point shooting will not be what they are looking for in getting from Carter.
As was seen during the Oklahoma City Thunder series in round two of the playoffs, rebounding and protecting the rim are much need areas of improvement for San Antonio, and Carter can help improve that.
Carter will not be the type of player to come in a system and start. He has proven to be a consistent player off the bench who can weather any storm when the team or certain starters are struggling.
San Antonio over the years have had strong play and production from their bench. Carter’s all-around play is well documented.
His draft stock got a boost at the NBA Draft Combine with his 22 point, seven rebound performance. Scouts applauded his strong mid range game, pick and roll offense and tantalizing defense.
He uses his length and instincts well defensively, with a good mix of statistical production at 1.3 steals and 1.9 blocks per 40 minutes pace adjusted to go along with his solid defensive rebounding numbers according to Draft Express. He utilizes his agility to force turnovers and is a strong player who isn’t going to get moved out of the way very often. If he can become more adept at guarding the perimeter, he can develop into a very productive, versatile defender.
With San Antonio on the verge of signing international player Davis Bertans, the Spurs’ chance of drafting Carter may not be beneficial for them.
Carter certainly has the look of a NBA big man with his impressive length, scoring instincts and solid mobility. The first step for him to break into an NBA rotation is to show he can be a consistent jump shooter and prove he can defend his position adequately.
Having the skill set to give any team a boost, Carter will get drafted in next week’s NBA Draft. When it does happen, one team will be getting a steal.