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