The San Antonio Spurs selected Chimezie Metu with the No. 49 overall pick of the 2018 NBA Draft.
The San Antonio Spurs already scooped up Lonnie Walker with the No. 18 pick of the 2018 NBA Draft, but one selection remained at No. 49. Options remained for the Spurs, even if the talent pool was limited. Their last second-round pick was Jaron Blossomgame in 2017, at No. 58 overall.
So, in the second round, San Antonio took Chimezie Metu, a power forward/center. He played three seasons at USC.
Metu stands at 6-foot-11, 220 pounds and has a 6-foot-11 wingspan. He projects as a rim-protecting center, with the elite athleticism to help him cover the paint. High-end shot-blocking skills were not seen in college, though, as he had 1.7 blocks per game in 31 minutes. ESPN’s Mike Schmitz praised this pick on Twitter:
Spurs with another strong value pick with Chimezie Metu at 49. Clearly an athletic talent with some budding skill but needs the right situation. He now has that with the Spurs. Interested to see him as a vertical spacing 5.
— Mike Schmitz (@Mike_Schmitz) June 22, 2018
Metu likely needs to bulk up, as well, to withstand the tougher big men of the NBA. He should be able to in the G League. Some work is needed on an outside shot, but Metu shot 40 times from behind the arc, after taking just three attempts in his first two seasons.
With Joffrey Lauvergne‘s possible departure and Davis Bertans as a restricted free agent, it leaves no big-man depth behind Pau Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge. The Spurs still may need to address this in free agency, but there’s at least some insurance behind the veterans in place, with the potential to develop Metu into a rotational player.
Look for Metu to be part of the Spurs Summer League team in July, the first chance for fans to see this second-round pick in action. The same goes for Walker and if San Antonio acquires another pick before the draft ends.
This should wrap up the Spurs’ draft night. With two picks in the books, let’s see how they impact the 2018-19 season’s roster. Before that, though, there’s the long summer that features the potential trade of Kawhi Leonard and free-agent signings to fill the rest of the squad.