The San Antonio Spurs’ two first round picks make them one of the most interesting teams in this year’s draft. What are the mock drafts predicting they do with those to picks?
While the San Antonio Spurs don’t have a lottery pick yet again this year after making the playoffs for the 22nd consecutive season, they do have two first round picks for the first time since 1987 when they selected David Robinson and Greg Anderson.
The Spurs would be extremely lucky to get a Hall of Famer and a ten-year NBA veteran out of this year’s crop of draft picks, but there should be some intriguing prospects available after the lottery in this class.
San Antonio has been able to continue their unprecedented run of success thanks to hitting on many of these selections late in the first round with Dejounte Murray and Derrick White being the most recent examples.
The Spurs seem pretty set in the backcourt with one of the deepest guard rotations in the NBA, so the mock drafters of the internet, including those at Air Alamo, expect San Antonio to either pick a wing or big man with each of their first round selections.
Luckily, those positions seem pretty deep in this year’s class. Without further ado, let’s look at what the mock drafters think the Spurs will do with their two first round picks this year.
Next: 19th Overall Pick
19th Overall Pick
Kevin O’Connor and Jonathan Tjarks, the Ringer: Iowa State F Talen Horton-Tucker
O’Connor and Tjarks are some of the most respected names in the NBA Draft community, and they believe the Spurs will attempt to address their need on the wing with Iowa State forward Talen Horton-Tucker.
Kendall Garriss broke down Horton-Tucker’s game for us at Air Alamo earlier this year.
Horton-Tucker is a little undersized to be an ideal three-and-D wing in the NBA, but he has a lot of upside at just 19 years old and he was pretty productive as a freshman at Iowa State with 11.6 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2 assists, and 1.1 steals per game against power conference teams.
Ty Delbridge, Hoops Habit: Georgian C Goga Bitadze
Our draft expert Kendall Garriss also scouted Goga Bitadze in his article that looked at some of the international prospects the Spurs could be interested come draft time.
The Spurs probably need to add one or two big men to their rotation this offseason, and Bitadze has the potential to be a skilled center that San Antonio covets in their system.
Bitadze is another 19-year-old prospect who could develop and grow alongside the Spurs’ promising young core.
Joe Tansey, Bleacher Report: Texas C Jaxson Hayes
Kendall Garriss had Jaxson Hayes going to Atlanta with the 10th pick in our post-lottery mock draft, so he would be a pretty big steal if he fell to the Spurs at pick number 19.
Hayes excelled as a shot-blocker with the Longhorns this season swatting 2.2 shots per game, but he wasn’t very productive in the points and rebounds categories which means he will be a project for any team that takes a chance on him.
Hayes is another 19-year-old prospect that could develop into a solid player with the help of the Spurs’ player development staff.
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Kentucky G/F Keldon Johnson
Ethan Farina, another one of our draft experts, recently wrote up a full scouting report of Keldon Johnson’s game with draft night just a few weeks away.
Johnson is probably the top prospect coming out of Kentucky this year, and he continues the trend of young players going to the Spurs in these mock drafts as he’s just 20 years old.
The former Oak Hill Academy product could turn out to be the three-and-D prospect that San Antonio is looking for.
NBADraft.net: Georgia F Nicolas Claxton
Nicolas Claxton has been a riser on nearly everybody’s draft boards after an impressive performance at the NBA Combine in Chicago.
Claxton essentially ran the offense at Georgia from the center position showing that he’s the type of versatile big man that is still valuable in today’s NBA.
We’ll see if Claxton’s stock rises enough to where he’s taken before the Spurs’ first round pick on draft night.
Wael Saghir and John Chick, the Score: Oregon C Bol Bol
Bol Bol is my personal dream selection at number 19 overall, and the folks at the Score think it’s possible that he slips this far.
They did acknowledge that Bol’s draft stock is hard to determine at the moment, and that is evidenced by Kendall Garriss sending him to Washington with the ninth pick in his post-lottery mock draft.
If the Spurs can get a player with Bol’s upside with the 19th overall pick, the front office will be doing backflips in the conference room after sending in the selection.
Liam McKeone, The Big Lead: Gonzaga F/C Rui Hachimura
Liam McKeone of The Big Lead believes Rui Hachimura would be a great fit in San Antonio, and our own Dylan Carter agrees as he took the Gonzaga big man with the 19th overall pick in our first mock draft of the offseason.
Kendall Garriss also broke down Hachimura’s game to determine if the Japanese center’s skills can translate to the NBA.
Hachimura is a little older than some of the other top prospects in this draft, but the Spurs showed that it’s okay to select experienced players in the first round after seeing the early success of Derrick White.
Joe Giglio, NJ.com: Iowa State F Talen Horton-Tucker
Next: 29th Overall Pick
29th Overall Pick
Kevin O’Connor and Jonathan Tjarks, the Ringer: San Diego State F Jalen McDaniels
Jalen McDaniels would add some tremendous length to a Spurs defense that really struggled guarding opposing wings last season.
At 6’10”, McDaniels developed into an All-Mountain West Conference player at San Diego State averaging 15.9 points, 8.3 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.1 steals per game last season for the Aztecs.
The Spurs would hope the development of his game follows a similar trajectory as fellow San Diego State alum Kawhi Leonard if McDaniels comes to San Antonio.
Ty Delbridge, Hoops Habit: Belmont F Dylan Windler
Dylan Windler led Belmont to the NCAA tournament with some insane production as he scored 21.3 points per game with 10.8 rebounds and 2.5 assists last season.
He also shot a scorching 42.9% from three on 7.1 attempts per game and got it done on the defensive end as well with 1.4 blocks per contest.
Windler doesn’t have some of the same upside at 23 years old as some of the younger prospects do, but he has a chance to contribute right away for a Spurs squad that needs more wing talent.
Joe Tansey, Bleacher Report: Tennessee F Grant Williams
Dylan Carter recently wrote up a scouting report on Tennessee forward Grant Williams, who won back-to-back SEC Player of the Year awards for the Volunteers.
Williams scored 18.8 points per game with 7.5 rebounds and 3.2 assists this season while maintaining a true shooting percentage of 64.6%. He also played some stellar defense with 1.5 blocks and 1.1 steals per contest.
Williams is a little undersized to bang with some of the bigs in the NBA, but he could be an intriguing center in a small-ball lineup at the next level.
Kyle Boone, CBS Sports: Florida State C Mfiondu Kabengele
Mfiondu Kabengale, the nephew of Dikembe Mutombo, developed into a super-sub at Florida State averaging 13.2 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks in 21.6 minutes per game off the bench.
Kabengale has tremendous size at 6’10” and 256 pounds, and he also showed some semblance of an outside shot hitting 24 of his 65 three-point attempts this season (36.9%).
If Kabengale continues his development at the next level, he could be a late first round steal for San Antonio.
NBADraft.net: Washington G/F Matisse Thybulle
We’ve identified Matisse Thybulle as a possible fit for the Spurs at the beginning of the draft process as Dylan Carter broke down the Washington wing’s game over two months ago.
At 22 years old, Thybulle is another older prospect that played four years of college ball, but this is a sweet spot for those type of players at the end of the first round.
With an absurd 3.5 steals and 2.3 blocks per game last season and his extensive college experience, Thybulle has the potential to have a defensive impact right away in the NBA.
Wael Saghir and John Chick, the Score: Auburn F Chuma Okeke
Chuma Okeke may have been a lottery pick before tearing his ACL during Auburn’s magical run in the NCAA Tournament.
While the knee injury is concerning, it could allow the Spurs to get a major steal near the end of the first round.
Okeke is a big man who has the range to drain threes from the outside, and those type of players have become incredibly valuable in today’s NBA.
Liam Mckeone, The Big Lead: North Carolina F Cameron Johnson
Cameron Johnson may be the best shooter in this year’s draft class, and the Spurs could use a player like that on a team where both of their top offensive players rarely shoot three-pointers.
Dylan Carter wrote up a scouting report on the North Carolina forward who hit 45.7% of his 5.7 three-point attempts per game last season.
Johnson continues the trend of older prospects near the end of the first round at 23 years old, but his potential to be an elite shooter with good size makes him an intriguing prospect.
Joe Giglio, NJ.com: Florida State C Mfiondu Kabengele
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