San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospects: Chandler Hutchison
By Kendall Garriss
A look at draft prospect Chandler Hutchison and his potential fit with the San Antonio Spurs.
With the NBA Draft just a few days away, teams and front offices across the league are preparing to welcome a new cohort of young talent as they decide which prospect(s) can best help their ball club compete for a title. The San Antonio Spurs hold the No. 18 and 49 picks in the draft. One of their options in the first round could be Chandler Hutchison, the versatile swingman out of Boise State.
In an era popularized by the one-and-done culture in college basketball, Hutchison is an anomaly, as he’s projected to be one of only a few four-year players drafted in the first round. Older players are frequently passed on in favor younger prospects whose potential upside is considered more enticing than someone like Hutchison, despite the elite level he played at during his junior and senior years.
The former Bronco stuffed the stat sheet during his senior season, averaging 20 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor. As Hutchison progressed through his career at Boise State he cultivated an offensive identity that made him one of the most deadly players in the Mountain West Conference.
With that maturity also comes confidence. Hutchison is a very well balanced two-way player who did a little bit of everything for the Broncos. Offensively, Hutchison possesses underrated athleticism and speed that allows him to get to the rim quickly. He also has the strength to finish through contact and the ability to consistently score with both hands around the basket.
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After his sophomore season, Hutchison spent the offseason working on his outside shot. He went from shooting 23.1 percent during his second year to connecting on 36.8 percent of his three-point attempts as an upperclassman. Hutchison is a reliable catch-and-shoot player and moves well off-ball to place himself in good positions for easy looks along the perimeter.
Hutchison also thrives in transition. He’s a quick thinker who can assess odd-man fast break situations and either finish the play himself or find an open teammate with an even better shot. Further, Hutchison has great ball handling skills for a 6’7” forward and is often tasked with initiating the offense from the top of the key. With solid vision and a willingness to pass, Hutchison is an unselfish playmaker as well as a refined offensive talent.
Defensively, Hutchison has a lengthy frame that allows him to disrupt and alter shots. He does a great job of getting into passing lanes to generate steals and ignite fast breaks. Hutchison racked up 46 steals during his senior year, the fourth-most in the conference. Further, he posted the highest Defensive Rating (93.3) and the most Defensive Win Shares (2.2) in the Mountain West Conference.
As a facilitator and creator, Hutchison would fit in nicely with the Spurs. The team needs depth at the wing position as well as players who can spark the offense. Hutchison’s Swiss army knife game mirrors Kyle Anderson’s style of play in a few respects. While Hutchison is a far better scorer and his ability to knock down the three-point shot makes him more of a threat on offense, a Hutchison-Anderson tandem could present an interesting lineup on both ends of the court.
For the most part, Hutchison’s stellar season flew under the radar and most college basketball fans are not familiar with him since he did not play for a Power-5 school but NBA teams and scouts noticed. Hutchison received an invite to the NBA Combine where his stay was short-lived but potentially fruitful.
Hutchison withdrew from the combine and cancelled all of his workouts a day before the combine was set to begin. This likely means that a team promised to draft the Boise State product in the first round and he did not want to risk underperforming or injuring himself during the combine.
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According to most mock drafts, Hutchison is not expected to be off the board until the early to mid-twenties of the first round. The Spurs, holding the 18th pick in the first round, could and should consider drafting Hutchison if he’s available.
With a well-rounded offensive game and the promise of becoming a reliable defender and knock-down shooter, Hutchison’s maturity and steady play will make him an alluring prospect at No.18.