B/R Points to San Antonio Spurs as best landing spot for two top prospects

CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 23: Mfiondu Kabengele #25, Devin Vassell #24, David Nichols #11, Phil Cofer #0 and Terance Mann #14 of the Florida State Seminoles line up during a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on February 23, 2019 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 59-77. (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
CHAPEL HILL, NC - FEBRUARY 23: Mfiondu Kabengele #25, Devin Vassell #24, David Nichols #11, Phil Cofer #0 and Terance Mann #14 of the Florida State Seminoles line up during a game against the North Carolina Tar Heels on February 23, 2019 at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. North Carolina won 59-77. (Photo by Peyton Williams/UNC/Getty Images)
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Bleacher Report thinks two young stars would excel with the San Antonio Spurs

The folks over at Bleacher Report have never shied away from a hot take. We get it, that’s the nature of the content game. But it’s put them on the wrong side of San Antonio Spurs fans quite a few times.

Just earlier this summer they suggested that if the Spurs were to land the top pick in the 2020 NBA Draft that they should package it together with Rudy Gay, Patty Mills, and Keldon Johnson and send them to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Kevin Love and Collin Sexton. With all due respect, hell no.

But sometimes they hit the nail on the head. Their recent piece identifying the best landing spots for top lottery prospects is a perfect example. As Jonathan Wasserman correctly points out, fit and environment can go a long way in determining the path of a player’s career.

An undervalued player can come to the perfect spot and flourish, just look at what Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Keldon Johnson have been able to do after sliding to the back of the first-round. But the opposite side of that coin, look at what happened to Josh Jackson when he went to the Phoenix Suns? It’s hard to see how his career has gone and not wonder how things would have been different if he had been drafted into a better situation.

With their first lottery pick since 1997, the San Antonio Spurs have an important decision to make. Selecting one of the players mentioned by Wasserman could be the perfect marriage of player and setting.

San Antonio Spurs would be the perfect landing spot for Patrick Williams or Devin Vassell.

Bleacher Report pointed to the San Antonio Spurs as the ideal landing spots for Patrick Williams and Devin Vassell. This has to be music to the ears of Spurs fans. We had Vassell falling to the Spurs in our most recent mock draft but we’re huge fans of Williams as well.

The Spurs need to target a wing or a rangy forward with their pick this year. Vassell would be an ideal 3-and-D wing to play with the young guy’s San Antonio already has in the backcourt and Williams, while still incredibly raw, could be the long term solution for the Spurs continuing need for a stretch-four.

Vassell is the more NBA ready of the two players. He could almost step in on day one and be counted on to knock down open looks and play solid defense against any team’s top wings. He won’t create many looks for himself right away but given the Spurs numerous playmakers that shouldn’t be an issue. He can continue to work on that part of his game over his first few years in the league.

Williams would likely need to spend some time with the Austin Spurs before possibly breaking into the rotation in his second year. But the Spurs tried and true system of developing players in their G-League team is part of why they’re a perfect landing spot for a player as raw as Williams.

He didn’t contribute much during his lone season with Florida State. He was fourth on the team in points, never started a game, and had one of the worst assist to turnover ratios of any of his teammates. He’s got a lot of work to do on refining the finer points of his game.

All of that has to be mentioned but you can’t ignore the jaw-dropping physicality of his game. A 6’8 forward with a 6’11 wingspan who’s a solid 225 pounds of muscle is close to the ideal physical dimensions for a forward in today’s NBA. He uses all of his physical talents to his advantage, he’s a very aggressive finisher and rebounder.

Next. Making the case to extend DeMar DeRozan’s contract

Situation is a huge part of a young player’s development and the San Antonio Spurs have one of the best in the league. They’d be wise to target one of the talented players coming out of Florida State to add to their already impressive young core.

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