The San Antonio Spurs have a long history in the NBA Draft, so who stands tall as the greatest picks in franchise history?
The San Antonio Spurs, especially over the past two decades, have found success in the NBA Draft, the opportunity to select collegiate and international players to become the future of domestic basketball. Some of them contributed towards championships, made all-star games and became NBA legends.
A few players stand out above the rest, though, in San Antonio’s long line of draft picks. 15, specifically, whether they were from the first or the second round.
These players became franchise stalwarts or were great finds for their placement in the selection process. This does not include teams that selected players and traded them to the Spurs on draft night, so Kawhi Leonard will not be part of the top 15 picks.
Who fills out the list, though? Let’s take a look at the front office’s work over the years.
PG, Breil Milano (Italy), 2004 (No. 28)
Beno Udrih, due to his journeyman career in the NBA, might not come to mind as one of the best San Antonio Spurs draft picks of all time, but he played well enough, and lasted in the Association long enough, to earn a spot at the back-end of the list.
Udrih entered the NBA as the No. 28 overall pick of the 2004 draft. Not a high-profile spot, so it’s hard to plant expectations on someone who low in the mix of players, and, also, an area where few superstars break out of.
Despite this, Udrih managed to put together a respectable three-year career with the Spurs, spreading the floor as a 3-point shooter off the bench and playing at least 50 games in each season. This contributed towards two championships, a rare accomplishment for someone so young in their tenure.
After the 2007 title, Udrih found a starting job with the Sacramento Kings for four years, some of which also featured him off the bench. He never became a rising star in the point guard ranks, but still averaged 12.6 points, 4.7 assists and 3.1 rebounds on 48.1 percent shooting and 36.1 from 3-point range.
Once Udrih fled Sacramento he fell into bench roles for the remainder of his time in the league. This included the Milwaukee Bucks and New York Knicks, among others, before falling out after the 2016-17 season.