9th Overall- Original Pick: Jeremy Sochan; New Pick: Jeremy Sochan
I hope that I had y’all guessing who I’d pick here after I essentially qualified Jeremy’s hot stretch as just “five good games." In the 40ish games that Sochan has played, he’s been everything that I hoped for, if not more. Sochan has shown the tools and size to be the five-position defender he was advertised as out of Baylor, which was the main reason he ended up as a lottery pick.
He’s struggled with quicker guards, which you can see in the clip below, but that will get better as he adjusts further to the NBA. I fully expect him to be a mainstay on All-Defensive teams sooner rather than later.
Offensively, it’s been more up and down. This was fully expected— a burning question I asked pre-season was if Sochan had worked on his shot over the summer. I wrote that both his free throw and three-point percentages coming out of Baylor needed vast improvement for Jeremy to contribute in the league.
Credit to Jeremy. Obviously, he’s trying to better both, mostly through work on his shot mechanics, especially at the free throw line. My favorite comment on this matter came from DragonflyJonez on Twitter. It truly speaks to his character that he’s so publicly working on this weakness.
As far as other options at this pick go, Spurs' Twitter favorites pre-draft included Johnny Davis and Jalen Duren. It is too early to place the “bust” label on any rookie, but Davis has been that so far. Duren has been good, especially for a rookie center, and would be a great replacement if the Spurs were to trade Jakob Poeltl.
Some other names to consider in the range of the 9th pick include Jalen Williams and Tari Eason. Both have been impressive, but I don’t think that there is any regret in choosing Sochan.