With the NBA Draft in the rear-view mirror, how will the players the San Antonio Spurs selected pan out?
While there was plenty of buzz on draft night the San Antonio Spurs might be making some big moves, they stuck with their picks at 29th in the first round and 59th in the second round. In the first round they chose point guard Derrick White from Colorado and in the second round forward Jaron Blossomgame from Clemson.
Now the question is: Will these rookies make an impact with San Antonio?
Derrick White, PG, Colorado – 29th Overall
Derrick White’s journey just to this point in his life is enough for me to believe he will fit right in with this team. He was not heavily recruited coming out of Legend High School in Colorado. White fought his way to a Division II scholarship at Colorado-Colorado Springs (UCCS). After transferring to Colorado, he made All-Pac 12 and found himself at the NBA Combine shortly after. Now he becomes the second point guard taken by the Spurs in round one in as many years.
With Tony Parker out until January and Patty Mills set to be a free agent, San Antonio needed some depth at point guard. Dejounte Murray showed good potential during the regular season and playoffs after Parker went down, but he still has a lot to learn. The Spurs are planning to make a run at Chris Paul and others, but having another point guard on the roster helps.
White averaged 18 points and 4.4 assists per game last year at Colorado. He has good size for his position at 6-4, similar to Murray at 6-5. He can be that combo guard along with Murray to help hold down the backcourt until Parker returns.
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I feel like with most Spurs picks nowadays, White will have to develop in the Summer League and Preseason games before Popovich gives him significant minutes. I believe in the long-run he will be a good piece to the puzzle as San Antonio continues moving into the Kawhi Leonard era.
Jaron Blossomgame, SF, Clemson – 59th Overall
Blossomgame could be a player fighting for a final spot on the roster in the Summer League and preseason. At small forward behind Leonard are Jonathan Simmons, who is a restricted free agent and was a breakout player last year, and Kyle Anderson, who seems to be getting better every year. At 6-7, he borderlines the size to be a small or power forward. He has good athleticism, he can shoot, and he brings defense at that end of the floor, something Popovich loves.
Blossomgame could be in and out of San Antonio in less than a year or not make the team at all. In fact the last player drafted by the Spurs in the second round to make the regular season roster was DeJuan Blair in the 2009 draft (37th overall). In order to make this team, Blossomgame will need to play well in the Summer League and impress in training camp if he hopes to make the roster with White.
What impact, if any, do you think White and Blossomgame will make?