Feb 12, 2020; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats and San Antonio Spurs draft prospect, Saddiq Bey (41) drives to the basket against Marquette Golden Eagles guard Koby McEwen (25) during the second half at Finneran Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
These four 2020 NBA Draft prospects can help the San Antonio Spurs right away
When the San Antonio Spurs make their 2020 Draft pick on November 8th they’ll be making a pivotal decision in the next steps of their organization. And after struggling through the 2019-20 season and just barely missing out of the playoffs you can be sure this Spurs team is hungry to start a new playoff streak.
In a draft that’s got quite a few prospects who look like they have what it takes to be a quality role player for a long time, the Spurs shouldn’t be deadset on picking 11th. They could just as easily find a player who can help them right away in the early 20s if trading back is their thing.
No matter where they end up picking, it’ll be interesting to see what kind of draft strategy they go with. They’ve been linked to prospects with varying degrees of NBA readiness, they could be eyeing picking a player who’s going to take a bit of time until they’re ready to play.
But if the San Antonio Spurs want to start their new playoff streak as soon as possible they’re going to need to select someone ready to play on day one. Here are a few members of the 2020 draft class who could be up to that task.
Next: A rock-solid forward
Feb 29, 2020; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (41) dribbles the ball in front of Providence Friars guard Maliek White (4) during the second half at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
San Antonio Spurs Draft: Saddiq Bey is ready for the NBA
One of the most NBA ready players in this draft class is Saddiq Bey from Villanova. Bey is a strong-bodied forward who won the Julius Erving Award as the nation’s top small forward this year. Bey joined fellow Wildcat alumni, Josh Hart and Mikal Bridges as Erving Award recipients.
It must be something in the water on the Villanova campus or maybe Jay Wright is just that good of a head coach but all of these Wildcats come into the NBA ready to contribute from the jump. Every one knows their role, plays hard-nosed defense and knocks down open three’s. Bey is no different.
He hit a phenomenal 45 percent of his long-range attempts last year, with many of them coming from well outside NBA range. His shot has a little bit lower of a release point than other top shooters but he’s so consistent with it and gets it off so quickly that it shouldn’t be a concern at the next level.
Villanova’s top defender, Bey was often tasked with guarding the opposing team’s top scoring option, regardless of position. He might not be able to stay with top NBA guards or centers but should be able to hold his own with everyone in between.
What Bey lacks for in superstar potential he makes up for with dependability, he’s going to be able to take on a sizeable role in the rotation of any team lucky enough to draft him sooner than many of his classmates.
Next: A proven shooter
Florida State Seminoles guard Devin Vassell (24) shoots for three. The Florida State Seminoles lead the Boston College Eagles 42-24 at the half, Saturday, March 7, 2020.Fsu V Boston161
San Antonio Spurs Draft: Devin Vassell can help the Spurs right away
We’ve been high on Devin Vassell for a few months now and when you watch the tape from his two years at Florida State it’s easy to see why.
Vassell is a near-perfect wing for today’s NBA. He can switch everything on defense, has a gorgeous and effective jump shot, and has just enough of an iso game to add versatility to a team’s offense.
A 41.7 percent shooter over his two years in college, Vassell would immediately be able to bring a much-needed floor-spacing threat to the San Antonio Spurs. He’d fit in very well with the Spurs drive and kick offense and, as a rookie, would live on a heavy diet of kick-out passes from Derrick White and Dejounte Murray.
As impressive as his offensive game is, it’s what Vassell does on defense that is truly special. He will lock up an opposing team’s best scorer for the full 94 feet all game long if that is what his coaches ask him to do.
He’s a destructive off-ball defender as well. With great instincts and a ridiculous wingspan, he’s great at jumping passing lanes and creating easy fastbreak opportunities.
There are parts of Devin Vassell’s game that still need more development but he will be able to be a contributor in any NBA lineup right away as a 3 and D specialist.
Next: A bruising big man
Mar 5, 2020; Tempe, Arizona, USA; Washington Huskies forward Isaiah Stewart (33) dunks against the Arizona State Sun Devils during the first half at Desert Financial Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
San Antonio Spurs Draft: Isaiah Stewart is ready to battle NBA big men
Looking at the three players we recently identified as possible risks in this year’s draft class and you’ll quickly notice a common factor in two of them – they’re severely lacking the muscle they need to hang in the NBA. This is not an issue for Isaiah Stewart.
Stewart is a monster of a man down low with a motor to match. He plays with infectious energy and isn’t shy about throwing his weight around to wear opposing players down.
More than just a bruising big man, he’s got a soft touch around the rim as well. He’s got a crafty arsenal of up and under, jump hooks, and other below the rim moves to help him get his shot off in close.
All that muscle comes into play on defense as well. He’s not going to be pushed off his spots easily and has the wingspan to contest shots at the rim. He averaged 2.6 blocks per 40 minutes and should be able to serve as an energizing two-way backup big man in the NBA.
He’s got some limitations to his offensive game, he’s not a shooter – he took just 20 3-point attempts during his freshman year at the University of Washington – and he’s not much of a playmaker either.
He’s ready to contribute to an NBA team right away. But whichever team selects him should do it with an understanding that he’s got a limited potential impact right now. Still, there’s always room for a big man with Stewart’s physicality on an NBA roster.
There are plenty of players in this draft class who will need a year or two to develop but any one of these three is more than capable of coming in and helping the San Antonio Spurs right away.