If someone would have told me a few weeks ago that the San Antonio Spurs would end up with three first-round draft picks in the 2022 NBA Draft, I would have laughed in their face. Nevertheless, after several trades including two that sent Derrick White to the Boston Celtics and Thaddeus Young to the Toronto Raptors, the Spurs are now proud owners of two additional first-round picks in this year's draft along with their own.
No matter what you may have thought about White and Young, considering that this is coming directly after the offseason that saw the departure of DeMar DeRozan and Patty Mills as well, the Spurs are definitely in the process of choosing a direction. If you're asking me, looking at the sheer number of draft picks the Spurs now own moving forward, it certainly looks like the Spurs have finally taken steps toward a rebuild.
All of a sudden, the 2022 NBA Draft has become a much bigger day in the eyes of Spurs fans. This marks the first time that the Spurs will be selecting more than two players in the first round in the team's history, and being that March Madness is less than a month away, it's time to begin researching all of the Spurs' potential future rookies.
The Spurs are notoriously difficult to gauge when it comes to the draft, and them having three times as many first-round picks doesn't help things. Fans were shocked this past offseason (myself included) after the Spurs selected Josh Primo 12th overall in the draft, but I think his selection gave us more clues as to how the team will approach future drafts.
Primo was the youngest participant in last year's draft and is currently the youngest active NBA player. The Spurs have long valued long-term player development, and by drafting such a young player, the team is clearly banking on that development once again. Dating back to drafting Devin Vassell, Brian Wright has gone on record talking about how the Spurs draft based on players' ceilings rather than their fit with the team.
Wright also seems to embrace a modern, perimeter-based game that values versatile, positionless players.
Ultimately, due to the nature of the upcoming draft, there are several directions the Spurs can go in, especially considering they'll more than likely have a high lottery pick. For all we know, the Spurs could even be planning to move up in the draft to select a franchise cornerstone to place next to Dejounte Murray.
With that in mind, though, if they choose to keep their three first-round picks, the following three players would provide the Spurs with youth, high upside, and enormous versatility on both ends of the floor. These picks will assume the Spurs will be selecting 8th, 18th, and 19th overall -- their current positions as of the All-Star break (per Tankathon).