Here’s what you should know about the San Antonio Spurs before tonight’s 2020 NBA draft
At long last, the 2020 NBA Draft is here. Draft night is always a special night for everyone from the players to the fans but this year’s draft carries a little extra weight, especially for fans of the San Antonio Spurs.
For the first time since 1997 when they selected Tim Duncan, the San Antonio Spurs are back in the lottery. They’re picking higher than they have in over two decades and frankly, the help couldn’t come at a better time.
The Spurs are going through a huge period of change. They’ve got an interesting blend of veterans and young players and could just as easily re-tool for a push for the playoffs as they could blow the whole thing up and undergo a full-fledged rebuild.
So far San Antonio has been, in typically Spurs fashion, extraordinarily tight-lipped about their intentions. There have been a few rumblings about potential trades but, other than DeMar DeRozan doing the expected and picking up his player option, the news out of San Antonio has been pretty light.
In any case, here is everything you need to know heading into tonight’s NBA Draft.
Everything you need to know about the San Antonio Spurs before the draft
Where are the San Antonio Spurs picking?
The San Antonio Spurs own the 11th and 41st picks in the 2020 NBA Draft. A lot of the buzz around the Spurs heading into the draft has been about their lottery pick but their high second-round pick gives them an excellent chance to add quality talent.
This draft class is deep with quality role players and someone like Tre Jones could easily be available for the Spurs when they’re making their second selection.
Who are some of the Spurs’ top targets?
Williams is one of the hottest names in the draft heading into tonight. Just weeks ago we were expecting that he would be there for the taking at 11 but that’s looking less and less likely with every passing hour.
He’s a rangy, do it all forward whose dimensions and potential make your eyes pop. He didn’t play a ton at Florida State but is a likely top-ten pick based on what scouts believe he can become in the future. The Spurs are rumored to be interested in trading up to get him.
Calling Bey a safe pick almost does a disservice to his abilities. “Safe” picks are usually the guys who have one or two skills whereas Bey can do it all. He’s an excellent 3-point shooter, a willing and able defender, and he’s shown a little bit of creation ability off the bounce as well.
His potential doesn’t match up with someone like Williams but you can slot Bey in as a quality role player on any team in the NBA for the next ten years. His game is too well rounded and he’s too mature of a prospect to be anything less.
Onyeka Okongwu & Deni Avdija
If the San Antonio Spurs do trade up into the top-three you’d have to bet that they’re going after one of these two players. They’ve both worked out for the Spurs in recent weeks and either one would be a great fit in San Antonio.
Okongwu is nearly bust proof in my eyes. His offensive game is well rounded, he can bring the ball up the court, facilitate, and has a deep arsenal of post moves, including a filthy jump hook. On defense, he can stretch all the way out to the perimeter but still gives you elite rim protection.
Avdija is the tantalizing playmaking forward who Spurs fans have had their eyes on since early spring. He’s a wickedly skilled playmaker, a crafty and aggressive finisher around the rim, and is aware enough of his surroundings to be a dangerous team defender.
The question for both of these two is their shooting ability. It’s less of a concern with Okongwu. He doesn’t space the floor out past the 3-point line yet but that’s an area of his game that could develop with time. For Avdija, he’s been shaky from behind the arc and his poor performance from the charity stripe makes you worry that he’ll ever amount to being an average 3-point shooter. This is a real area of worry for him.
The biggest rumors involving the San Antonio Spurs and trade activity have been with the Golden State Warriors and the 2nd overall pick. The Warriors are rumored to have interest in LaMarcus Aldridge and a deal including him, the 2nd overall pick, and Andrew Wiggins could be on the way.
Another team to watch is the Atlanta Hawks, owners of the 6th overall pick. They were linked to Jrue Holiday before he was traded to Milwaukee and could still be on the hunt for a star guard to pair with Trae Young. Could they be interested in DeMar DeRozan? The fit seems doable and a package of Cam Reddish and the 6th pick should be enough to get San Antonio interested.
It all goes down tonight when the San Antonio Spurs will add the newest names to their team. Tune into the NBA Draft tonight on ESPN at 7 pm ET.