San Antonio Spurs: 3 Reasons to Select Ivan Rabb in 2017 NBA Draft

Feb 2, 2017; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears forward Ivan Rabb (1) reacts after a play by the Utah Utes during the second overtime period at Haas Pavilion. The California Golden Bears defeated the Utah Utes 77-75 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 2, 2017; Berkeley, CA, USA; California Golden Bears forward Ivan Rabb (1) reacts after a play by the Utah Utes during the second overtime period at Haas Pavilion. The California Golden Bears defeated the Utah Utes 77-75 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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On the cusp of the 2017 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs will prepare to make the most of the 29th pick. With key big men such as Pau Gasol, David Lee and Dewayne Dedmon on the free market, they may look to draft Cal’s Ivan Rabb.

With LaMarcus Aldridge on the trade block, San Antonio Spurs’ big man rotation is in dire need of some stability. They may be able to find that in Ivan Rabb, a 20-year-old Power Forward from Oakland.

Following a fantastic sophomore year with the California Golden Bears, Rabb is looking to make the jump into the NBA. His raw potential, physical nature and moldability would make him a great fit for San Antonio.

1. Athletic Potential

Standing at 6’10” with a wingspan over seven feet, Rabb has the physical tools to be a force in the league. His athleticism and quickness surpass that of many players of his size, similar to Dewayne Dedmon.

You tell us: Which team should pick up Ivan Rabb this #NBADraft? pic.twitter.com/F68xbFPKL6

— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) June 22, 2017

Rabb has been known to use his physical tools to be an elite rebounder. In 32.7 minutes per game, Rabb averaged 10.5 rebounds in his sophomore season. His ability to box out and overpower other bigmen would greatly help San Antonio’s shooters to comfortably operate.

According to Draft Express, Rabb recorded a standing reach of 9’1″ in the NBA Draft Combine. He also recorded a maximum vertical of 32.5 inches.

Pairing Kawhi Leonard with a physical specimen of Rabb’s caliber can allow the Spurs’ offense to flow freely and will surely result in many offensive rebounds.

2. Floor Spacing

In his two years with Cal, Rabb showed great potential in his jump shot. He shot 49 percent from the field in his sophomore year with an impressive 40 percent from three-point range.

Although he did not shoot often, he did take smart shots and exercised his immense basketball IQ. With the help of San Antonio’s shooting coach, Chip Engelland, Rabb’s jump shot could become deadly.

He’s already been known as one of the Pac-12’s most talented big men due to his array of skills and his respectable range. His quick step will also keep many NBA defenders off-guard and will result in great opportunities.

His skills will easily translate to the NBA. If the development staff in San Antonio could help him to find consistency in his shot, he’ll make a huge impact on the team.

3. Decision Making

As stated earlier, Rabb has shown great basketball IQ in his two seasons with Cal. He isn’t one to force shots without reason and will often give the ball up to teammates without hesitation.

Rabb, who showed potential to be drafted last year, decided to return to the Golden Bears to improve his game before heading to the league. This is a testament to his status as a student of the game.

Any player so willing and ready to improve will find success under Coach Gregg Popovich. Although the Golden Bears’ season left much to be desired, Rabb played with heart and hustle each and every game.

The Verdict

By all means, Rabb would make a fine addition to the San Antonio roster. His work ethic, skill, athleticism and will to learn would fit greatly.

Selecting Dejounte Murray with the 29th pick of the 2016 NBA Draft was one of the greatest steals in recent drafts. With the scouting and development staffs in San Antonio, their selection will likely be a pristine player.

While Rabb fits many of the characteristics that San Antonio longs for, they’ll also be looking to make moves in free agency.

Next: San Antonio Spurs: Can a Paul George Trade Work?

Regardless of their selection, chances are that R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich will make a smart choice for the team’s future.

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