What should the San Antonio Spurs do with these five NBA Draft prospects?
After what was literally the longest season ever, the 2020 NBA Draft is finally almost here. On the heels of struggling through a tough losing season the San Antonio Spurs are almost ready to make their pick. Sadly, we still haven’t gotten a clue at who it might be.
There’s been speculation and we’ve all got an opinion about which player in this class fits the Spurs best. But, in typical Spurs fashion, the team is staying quiet.
We’ve gotten word about who they’ve interviewed and who they’re working out, but no talk of if they’ve narrowed their list down at all.
That said, it’s pretty clear what San Antonio needs from this draft. They should be looking to get the best player available but also keeping a special eye for a wing or a big man. If it comes time to turn the pick in and they’ve got two equally ranked players – one guard and one wing – they should choose the wing player.
The draft lottery isn’t familiar territory for the San Antonio Spurs and, as a fan, I’d like it to stay that way. Here are a few NBA draft prospects who could be available for the Spurs and what the team should do with them.
Next: No. 5
The San Antonio Spurs should draft Devin Vassell if they can
Starting nice and obvious here. Yes, the San Antonio Spurs should absolutely draft Devin Vassell if they get the chance.
Vassell is one of the most highly thought of players in this draft. With his excellent blend of wingspan, defensive ability, and 3-point shooting, he’s a perfect 3 & D player for the modern NBA.
He’s not the best shooter in his class but he’s close. He shot almost 42 percent from behind the arc during his two seasons at Florida State and showed that he can hit from well beyond NBA range.
If he were to be drafted by the Spurs he’d get most of his looks off of timely cuts and kick out passes. He won’t have to create too many shots for himself but that doesn’t mean he can’t. He’s got a mid-range game that’s coming along quite nicely and can hit the open man when his shot isn’t there.
Weak perimeter defense was a huge issue for the Spurs this year, Vassell can help with that right away. He’s one of the best defenders in this class and is just as dangerous off the ball as he is on his man.
This is an easy choice. Devin Vassell is exactly the kind of player the San Antonio Spurs should be after.
Next: No. 4
San Antonio Spurs should pass on Precious Achiuwa
One of the big men that the Spurs have been linked to is Precious Achiuwa. He met with the team for a pre-lottery interview and liked what he saw during the process.
One of the first things Achiuwa mentioned when asked what he liked about the Spurs was the up-tempo offense that they played in the bubble. He thinks he can fit well with the style of play San Antonio was running in Orlando and I’m inclined to agree.
He doesn’t need the ball in his hands in order to have an impact. He’d make a great pick and roll partner for any of the Spurs guards. He’s a smooth finisher near the rim and is more than happy to absorb any contact he takes along the way.
Achiuwa is very good at what he does but his offensive limitations might be a deal-breaker for some teams. He shot just 33 percent from behind the arc while at Memphis and his poor performance from the free-throw line doesn’t lead you to believe that his 3-point shot will ever come around.
He has real potential as a small-ball center for San Antonio. He’s got the length and athleticism to protect the rim and the speed and motor to fly around the court all game long. He will need some time to learn the finer points but the talent is there for Achiuwa to be a real impact player on defense.
He’s going to be a good player for whoever takes him but that shouldn’t be the San Antonio Spurs. What he brings to the table simply doesn’t align with what they need right now.
Next: No. 3
San Antonio Spurs should consider taking Tyrell Terry if they get the chance
Tyrell Terry is one of the fastest rising players in this draft class. He’s a sharpshooting point guard from Stanford who could be the next elite shooter in the NBA.
Some Spurs fans might look at Terry and see the next Bryn Forbes but I promise you there is more to his game than that. Forbes came into the league as an undersized shooting guard who had to learn how to play the point as he went. Terry is coming from a Stanford offense where almost the entire offense flowed through him.
It might take some adjusting to get used to not having the ball in his hands as much as he did in college but Terry’s game is well suited to that as well. He’s been one of the smallest plays on the court for years and has had to learn how to get his shots off despite that. He’s got an excellent knack for flying around screens and his catch and release is a thing of beauty.
On defense, he’s always going to get picked on because of his slight stature. But that’s something that he’s working on. He’s added 15 pounds of muscle as he prepares for the upcoming draft and should aim to continue to work on continuously building out his frame throughout his career.
Drafting Terry isn’t without risk. But his elite shooting ability can open up a world of possibilities for San Antonio. He could play with either one of Dejounte Murray or Derrick White and he’d open a ton of room for DeMar DeRozan and Keldon Johnson to attack the rim.
On the other end of the floor, San Antonio would have to hope that a combination of a beefed-up Terry alongside their existing defenders is strong enough to make what he brings on offense worth the downsides on defense.
This is tough. If someone like Devin Vassell is available at 11 then that’s who the Spurs should go with. But if a few of their other top targets are gone and Terry is there it’ll be awfully hard for the San Antonio Spurs to pass on someone who could have a transformative effect on their offense from the jump.
Next: No. 2
Jan 28, 2020; New York, New York, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Saddiq Bey (41) dribbles up court during the first half against the St. John’s Red Storm at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports
Saddiq Bey is a solid choice for the San Antonio Spurs but they can do better
He’s not my ideal choice for the San Antonio Spurs but it’d be really hard to be upset with the Spurs for taking someone as rock-solid as Saddiq Bey. He doesn’t have as high of a ceiling as someone like Tyrell Terry but there’s also a near-zero percent chance that he ends up as a bust. And sometimes that low risk factor is the difference-maker.
Bey wrapped up his time at Villanova by being named the best small forward in the country and finishing as the fourth most accurate 3-point shooter in the nation. A pretty impressive end to a solid college career, no?
Like almost every other player we’ve seen come out of Jay Wright’s program, Bey is as hard-nosed, take no BS defender. He was regularly asked to guard the opposing team’s top player, regardless of position.
He’s not tremendously explosive. He’s not going to ignite the crowd with high-flying alley-oop dunks, but that shouldn’t dissuade anyone from drafting him. He makes up for that on the defensive end with excellent agility, a high basketball IQ, and a willingness to communicate that would make a seasoned NBA veteran proud.
Bey’s going to be an excellent role player in the NBA for whoever drafts him. That just shouldn’t be the Spurs, at least not with the 11th pick.
If San Antonio trades down into the 14-17 range then by all means, please go the safe route and take Bey. But with the 11th pick, I’d rather see the Spurs take someone with more upside.
Next: No. 1
Florida State Seminoles forward Patrick Williams (4), a potential San Antonio Spurs draft pick, shoots a jumper during a game between FSU and Chicago State at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center.
Patrick Williams would be a great selection for the San Antonio Spurs
He’s the guy who has been seemingly mocked to the San Antonio Spurs more than anyone else. It’s almost as if the Spurs are destined to pick Patrick Williams at this point.
The hype around Williams is linked to scouts hope that someday he’s able to blend a prototypical frame and top-tier athleticism with a growing basketball IQ. If he can bring that all together he could really become a two-way force in the league.
Williams can protect the rim, rebound on both ends and push the ball, he’s shown an ability to find his teammates in transition and has shown some promise as a playmaker from the high post. As a scorer, he’s got excellent finishing ability with either hand, can knock down mid-range jumpers, and his 3-point shot is coming along.
He only hit on 32 percent of his long-range shots in college but his high free throw percentage (84 percent) gives you hope about what’s to come. Let him spend a few years refining his shot under the tutelage of the Spurs coaching staff and he’ll be smacking three’s before you know it.
There’s a high chance that Williams is going to have to spend a year or more with the Spurs G-League team but that’s just fine. They’re not contending for a championship in the next two years, they can afford to wait while Williams develops.