San Antonio Spurs: 3 versatile big men the Spurs need to be watching

Apr 20, 2021, 2:31 AM CDT
Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) and Southern California Trojans forward Evan Mobley (4) during the Elite Eight of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Mar 30, 2021; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Gonzaga Bulldogs guard Jalen Suggs (1) and San Antonio Spurs draft prospect/Southern California Trojans forward E

The San Antonio Spurs can add some skill to their frontcourt this summer

Between their rumored interest in Chicago Bulls big man Lauri Markkanen and speculation over various draft targets, it sounds like the San Antonio Spurs could be making upgrades to their frontcourt this summer. The Spurs have a versatile and dynamic young backcourt, it’s time to get a frontcourt to match.

Before we look at the big men that the San Antonio Spurs should be looking at in this draft class, we should mention the guys they’ve got on their roster today.

Jakob Poeltl has proven that he can flourish as the Spurs starting center and even if he’s not scoring as much as his peers, his elite defense and high-level passing make him a strong starting option. Luka Samanic has shown flashes potential but still hasn’t gotten the playing time he needs to pull it all together. He’s talented, there’s no doubt about that, but that talent alone shouldn’t dissuade San Antonio from adding to their frontcourt.

As for the rest of the members of the frontcourt, Rudy Gay is approaching free agency and seems the least likely of the Spurs veterans to return. Trey Lyles could also be looking for a new destination and for all of the energy and physicality that Drew Eubanks brings, the Spurs still need to add someone more dynamic if they want to take the next step as a team.

Evan Mobley is the perfect big man prospect for the San Antonio Spurs

As it stands today, the San Antonio Spurs’ chances of adding Evan Mobley to their team someplace just between nonexistent and tantalizingly slim. Tankathon currently gives the Spurs an encouraging 2.4 percent chance of landing a pick in the top-three of the 2021 Draft. And long as there’s a chance, no matter how slim, I’m not giving up hope.

The Spurs have a chance of getting into the top three, but even that might not be enough for them to get Mobley. He’s a lock to go in the top-three and, depending on how picks shake out, could go first overall.

As far as young big’s go, Mobley is the most complete prospect we’ve seen come to the NBA since Anthony Davis. That’s not an exaggeration and that’s a fair comparison for just how good Mobley can be. Don’t buy it? Here’s how the two compare per 100 possessions after their freshman seasons.

  • Mobley: 28.5 pts, 15.1 reb, 4.2 ast, 5 blks, 1.4 stls, 57.8 FG%, 30% 3P%

  • Davis: 26.7 pts, 19.5 reb, 2.4 ast, 8.8 blks, 2.5 stls, 62.3 FG%, 15% 3P%

The highlights of Mobley’s game are clear. He’s an elite shot-blocker, has the agility to stay with faster players out on the perimeter, comes to the NBA with an advanced ability to score inside and with a developing outside game. But one of the aspects of Mobley’s game that I really want to focus on is his advanced feel for the game and his impressive passing ability.

We’ve seen how destructive players like Nikola Jokic can be running the offense from the high post and while Mobley isn’t on that level quite yet he’s got a great touch on his passes already.

Against Arizona State he dished out 7 assists while still bringing down 9 rebounds, scoring 22 points, and sending back 3 shot attempts. He found teammates for easy dump off’s in the paint, on cuts, and even put the ball on the floor to draw the defense in before kicking it out for an easy three.

His playmaking isn’t likely to be the calling card of his game but it shouldn’t be overlooked when we’re talking about what he brings to the table either.

Mobley is probably going to end up wearing another team’s jersey but he’s the easy choice if the Spurs luck into getting a top-three pick.

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