With just days before the 2019 NBA Draft, let’s take a look at what mock drafts around the internet expect the San Antonio Spurs to do on Thursday night.
The San Antonio Spurs are one of the more intriguing teams outside of the lottery this season as they hold both the 19th pick and the 29th selection, which was acquired from Toronto in the Kawhi Leonard trade.
The back end of the first round is a pretty good place to be in this draft considering the talent level really evens out after the top 8-10 prospects.
In a draft class like this, it wouldn’t be surprising at all for the 29th overall pick to have a much better career than the 11th pick .
The Spurs currently have needs at the wing and big man positions while they are fully stocked with talent at guard after spending each of their last three first round picks on backcourt players to go along with veterans like Patty Mills and Marco Belinelli.
The mock drafters in this collection have attacked those positions pretty hard, and it looks like there are a good amount of players who could fill those needs for the Spurs in the future.
Let’s see which prospects San Antonio is expected to target on draft night, assuming they don’t trade out of their current draft slots.
Next: 19th Overall Pick
19th Overall Pick
The Ringer: Kentucky F/C P.J. Washington
The Ringer gave the Spurs P.J. Washington with the 19th overall pick in their mock draft, which would be a really solid value for San Antonio considering he comes in at number 14 on Kevin O’Connor’s big board and number 16 on ESPN’s.
Washington was one of the first prospects we broke down this draft season as Kendall Garriss described him as a standout in a class full of frontcourt talent.
If Washington falls to number 19, it’d be hard to see the Spurs passing on him.
The Athletic, Sam Vecenie: Virginia Tech G Nickeil Alexander-Walker
Nickeil Alexander-Walker is ranked number 21 and 22 on O’Connor and ESPN’s draft board, which means he will likely be available when the Spurs make their selection.
However, San Antonio has plenty of young backcourt talent with Derrick White, Dejounte Murray, and Lonnie Walker all expected to fight for playing time next season, so I don’t think it’d be wise for the Spurs to spend a first round pick on a guard for the fourth year in a row.
Sports Illustrated, Jeremy Woo: Georgia F/C Nic Claxton
Nic Claxton has been a riser throughout the draft process as he showed off some versatile skills during the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago.
He’s a bit polarizing among the draft community as he sits at number 20 on O’Connor’s board compared to number 29 on ESPN’s rankings, but the Spurs could definitely help him develop into a skilled big man that is hard to guard.
If San Antonio decides to take a frontcourt player with their first selection, Claxton wouldn’t be a poor choice.
CBS Sports, Gary Parrish: Kentucky G/F Keldon Johnson
Keldon Johnson to the Spurs has been a very popular pick among the draft community because of his potential to help fill their need on the wing.
Draft experts disagree on Keldon’s potential as O’Connor has him ranked 36th compared to ESPN putting him at number 19 on their big board.
Johnson has the frame and work ethic to become a very good wing defender at the next level, but his skills on the offensive end are a huge question mark coming into the NBA.
Rotoworld, Raphielle Johnson: North Carolina F Cameron Johnson
If the Spurs are looking to add a knockdown shooter to their squad, Cameron Johnson is their man.
The UNC forward hit 45.7% of his 5.8 three-point attempts per game last season, which helped him earn an absurd true shooting percentage of 64.8% with the Tar Heels.
There are some questions about his upside as he enters the draft at 23 years old, but that extensive college experience could mean he’s able to contribute right away in the NBA.
Sir Charles in Charge, Michael Saenz: North Carolina F Cameron Johnson
Tankathon: Kentucky G/F Keldon Johnson
NBADraft.net: Maryland C Bruno Fernando
Bruno Fernando is another popular mock draft pick for those who think the Spurs will select a big man in the first round.
However, Fernando isn’t considered a top-30 prospect by Kevin O’Connor or ESPN despite putting up 13.6 points, 10.6 rebounds, and 1.9 blocks per game last season at Maryland.
It seems like pick number 19 would be a reach for Fernando, but he could be a solid value with San Antonio’s second selection in the first round.
Next: 29th Overall Pick
29th Overall Pick
The Ringer: Belmont G/F Dylan Windler
Dylan Windler is another older, more experienced prospect that the Spurs could target as a three-and-D wing.
Windler hit over 42.5% from deep over the past two seasons, including last year where he put up a ridiculous 7.1 attempts per game.
He also showed the ability to hit the boards with 10.8 rebounds per game as Windler led Belmont to the NCAA Tournament, and he has some defensive versatility swiping 1.4 steals per contest at the college level.
The Athletic, Sam Vecenie: Maryland C Bruno Fernando
Sports Illustrated, Jeremy Woo: Croatia F Luka Samanic
The Spurs were one of the first teams to aggressively target international players in the draft, and they could do so again this year with Luka Samanic being one of the top prospects from overseas.
Samanic has the look of a three-and-D wing, but he needs to improve his athleticism and three-point shooting if he is going to fit that mold at the next level.
At just 19 years old, he would be a very raw prospect for the Spurs’ coaching staff to get their hands on.
CBS Sports: Belmont G/F Dylan Windler
Rotoworld, Raphielle Johnson: Arizona State G Luguentz Dort
Luguentz Dort is a thickly-built shooting guard with a long wingspan that could help him defend larger wings despite coming in at just 6’4″.
Dort needs a lot of work on the offensive end as he put up a true shooting percentage of just 51.8% last season for the Sun Devils, and he would be hard-pressed to break into the Spurs’ loaded backcourt rotation in the next couple of years.
With Dort’s lack of size and shooting ability, I don’t think he would be a great fit in San Antonio.
Sir Charles in Charge, Michael Saenz: Maryland C Bruno Fernando
Tankathon: Georgia F/C Nic Claxton
NBADraft.net: Auburn F Chuma Okeke
Despite recovering from a torn ACL he suffered during the NCAA Tournament, Chuma Okeke could be a great get for the Spurs at pick number 29.
The 20-year-old forward averaged 12 points and 6.8 boards for Auburn last season while shooting 38.7% from deep on 3.7 attempts per game.
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The Spurs have been keeping their first round picks in the G League for most of their rookie years lately, so they wouldn’t be scared off by the possibility of Okeke missing most of this season if they think his skillset is worthy of a first round selection.