With three first-rounders and an early second, the San Antonio Spurs can afford to get experimental with their later selections. Rostering three-to-four rookies might not make sense considering most of the team’s roster spots are presently accounted for. Considering all of those factors, Parisian center Ismael Kamagate is a fantastic option for San Antonio. He addresses some holes in the current team while leaving the door open for a ‘draft-and-stash’ scenario.
Kamagate is a skilled center prospect with solid touch and instincts near the rim. The 21-year-old is cognizant of the fundamentals. He uses broad shoulders and a sturdy frame to free up high-percentage takes at the basket. Whether he’s battling in the post, scoring from a dump-off, or completing a put-back, Kamagate stays aware of his surroundings with succinct positioning to score. Outside of interior buckets and effective screening, there isn’t much more to Kamagate as an offensive weapon right now.
However, it’s the defensive potential that should intrigue the Spurs even more. Kamagate uses his reach to contest every shot in his path with a passion for rejecting his opponent. He’s compelling in drop coverage and oftentimes rotates from the weak side to cut off drivers before they can react. Unlike many others at his size, Kamagate has the dexterity to move in unison with his assignment and contest shots on the perimeter when necessary.
For all that his instincts provide, Kamagate desperately needs to pack on muscle and learn to assert his will. Stronger centers can push him around pretty easily and that lack of power hurts his finishing ability. It’s also an issue for him on the defensive glass—an area of his game with room to grow. Should he muscle up and develop a more physical mindset, Kamagate could be a force.