San Antonio Spurs take a swing at forward Luka Samanic with 19th pick

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Luka Samanic poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 19th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 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. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 20: Luka Samanic poses with NBA Commissioner Adam Silver after being drafted with the 19th overall pick by the San Antonio Spurs during the 2019 NBA Draft at the Barclays Center on June 20, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. 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. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
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General manager R.C. Buford was impressed with Croatian forward Luka Samanic and selected him to the San Antonio Spurs with the 19th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

In an interesting turn of events, the San Antonio Spurs added Croatian forward Luka Samanic with the 19th overall selection in the 2019 NBA Draft. Samanic is a lengthy 6-foot-11 power forward with a wide range of skills at his disposal. Not only can he become a pivotal floor spacer for this organization, but the 19-year-old has shown flashes of a massive range of capabilities as a slasher, ball handler and distributor.

The Spurs worked out Samanic a few weeks back in the Alamo City and were impressed by his showing at the 2019 NBA Draft Combine. Samanic has spent his youth developing with multiple clubs overseas. He most recently competed for Petrol Olimpija of the Slovenian League and averaged eight points and 4.8 boards on 48 percent shooting from the field and 34 percent shooting from behind the arc.

Sources: San Antonio has selected Luka Samanic with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft.

— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 21, 2019

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Don’t let his low scoring averages and decent shooting percentages startle you – Samanic has a limited role as a young up-and-comer in a man’s league. His skill set was diverse enough to catch the attention of international scouts, putting him on general manager R.C. Buford’s radar.

Players such as Nassir Little and Brandon Clarke were available to the Spurs with the 19th pick, but it’s evident that Buford’s mind was made up well before San Antonio was on the clock.

It’s unlikely that Samanic makes an instant impact on the team – he’ll more than likely work through the Summer League and G League while studying under the Spurs and building his frame. Despite his extended height, Samanic has a 6-foot-10 wingspan and lacks the muscle necessary to compete with NBA big men.

The sky’s the limit for Samanic, who’ll have an opportunity to study the expert teachings of Gregg Popovich and a player development staff that’s worked wonders in recent seasons. There’s also a chance that he’ll be a draft-and-stash for the Spurs, continuing his growth overseas. This would give him a chance to compete, clearing the way for San Antonio to fill roster spots through free agency and otherwise.

San Antonio Spurs 2019 NBA Draft Prospects - Luka Samanic. Next

San Antonio is still lacking at the small forward position, but they’ll have two more picks to address their needs.

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