San Antonio Spurs Draft

San Antonio Spurs: 3 options for this year’s draft picks

PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 7: Head Coach Gregg Popovich, and Assistant Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs are seen talking together before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on February 7, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - FEBRUARY 7: Head Coach Gregg Popovich, and Assistant Coach Becky Hammon of the San Antonio Spurs are seen talking together before the game against the Portland Trail Blazers on February 7, 2019 at the Moda Center Arena in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Sam Forencich/NBAE via Getty Images)
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SACRAMENTO, CA – FEBRUARY 4: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs coaches DeMar DeRozan #10 against the Sacramento Kings on February 4, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CA – FEBRUARY 4: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of the San Antonio Spurs coaches DeMar DeRozan #10 against the Sacramento Kings on February 4, 2019 at Golden 1 Center in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/NBAE via Getty Images)

With multiple first round picks in year’s draft and their own second round pick, the San Antonio Spurs have plenty of options ahead of draft night.

The San Antonio Spurs changed the makeup of their franchise’s present and future when they sent a disgruntled Kawhi Leonard to Toronto.

In exchange for sending Kawhi and Danny Green north of the border, the Spurs received DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a protected first round pick.

Toronto is one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference this year, so that pick will almost assuredly fall outside of the top-20 protection the Raptors put on it.

San Antonio is currently in the playoff picture, so neither of their first round picks are likely to fall in the lottery this year. However, they are still important assets and the Spurs have a few different ways they can use them.

Next: Draft players with both picks

SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 10: R. C. Buford general manager of the San Antonio Spurs receives an excecutive of the year award before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 10, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – MAY 10: R. C. Buford general manager of the San Antonio Spurs receives an excecutive of the year award before the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on May 10, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)

Draft players with both picks

The simplest option for the Spurs in this situation is to keep their picks and draft two players near the end of the first round.

San Antonio has built their franchise around finding quality players late in the first round as they haven’t had a high draft pick since they selected Tim Duncan number one overall in 1997.

Derrick White and Dejounte Murray have both proven to be extremely effective point guards in the NBA, and both of them were taken in the 20’s.

Related Story. 3 Reasons why Gregg Popovich is the GOAT

The Spurs have an outstanding staff of scouts that has been able to find talent with limited draft capital and San Antonio has one of the best player development systems in the world.

I have no doubt they could find another quality player again this season, even though this year’s draft class isn’t supposed to be very deep.

Here are our scouting reports of players who could be available in the Spurs’ draft slot this season:

PJ Washington

Nassir Little

Jarrett Culver

Next: Trade for other draft picks

SAN ANTONIO, TX – DECEMBER 18: David Robinson, R.C Buford, Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs are seen at the ceremony honoring NBA Legend Tim Duncan at his jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – DECEMBER 18: David Robinson, R.C Buford, Gregg Popovich and Manu Ginobili #20 of the San Antonio Spurs are seen at the ceremony honoring NBA Legend Tim Duncan at his jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2016 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

Trade for other draft picks

With a potentially underwhelming 2019 draft class coming in, the Spurs may want to package their two first round picks and acquire a more appealing pick either this year or in the future.

Trading up in the draft is more sensible in the NBA than the NFL because the pool of talent is much smaller and more exclusive.

Related Story. 15 best scorers in Spurs history

A recent success story would be the Utah Jazz trading Trey Lyles and the number 24 pick in exchange for Denver’s number 13 pick, which would end up becoming Donovan Mitchell.

The Spurs have some role players like Lyles that they could package in a trade, or they could try to cash in their two first round picks for a top-10 pick if they fall in love with a prospect.

This is usally not the way San Antonio operates, but it wouldn’t be much more out of character than the Kawhi Leonard trade of last offseason.

Next: Trade for an All-Star

SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 3: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs talks with Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans after the game on November 3, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
SAN ANTONIO, TX – NOVEMBER 3: Head Coach Gregg Popovich of San Antonio Spurs talks with Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans after the game on November 3, 2018 at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)

Trade for an All-Star

More from Air Alamo

In today’s NBA, star players get sick of their current situation quite often and believe there are greener pastures elsewhere.

We’ve seen that happen with Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, Paul George, and now Anthony Davis all within the past couple of years.

With the Celtics back in the mix this offseason, the Spurs probably can’t make the best offer for Anthony Davis.

However, the two first round picks in this year’s draft will give them ammunition to potentially pounce once the next All-Star wants a change of scenery.

I’m guessing the next candidate for a trade request is Karl Anthony-Towns, but we’ve seen trade demands come out of thin air in the case of Kyrie Irving in the summer of 2017.

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Next. 15 greatest draft picks in Spurs history

If we see that type of situation occur before the draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Spurs package their picks for a player who can help them maximize the window they’re currently in with DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.

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