As I’m sure every San Antonio Spurs fan and their mother knows by now, we are approaching draft season in the NBA! Some would say we’re already there, but I believe the week of the lottery is when the festivities officially begin. Fans whose teams are competing in the lottery are getting excited about the prospect of adding Victor Wembanyama to their roster; meanwhile, the playoffs are picking up steam.
Almost everyone with a rooting interest in basketball is optimistic at this point of the year. Allow me to be a Debbie Downer for a second if you will. Like Bucks or Cavaliers fans (both of whom watched their team lose a five-game first-round series), most people waiting to see whether their team walks away with Wemby or Scoot Henderson will be disappointed by the results of the lottery.
If the Spurs landed either of those guys, this article is void. Nearly any scenario where Scoot or Wemby is playing in San Antonio next season is perfect, but there is a dark universe where the Spurs end up with the third pick or *shudders* worse. Even if they slide in the lottery, there are a handful of avoidable mistakes the Spurs must navigate to emerge victorious in the 2023 NBA Draft.
1. Drafting for positional need
At this point in the rebuild, the Silver and Black should pick talent over fit. They can’t afford to pass on the best player available for someone who clicks better with their current roster. I believe that in most situations, especially in this case, since the Spurs could see a ton of turnover over the next few years as Pop and the Front Office (PATFO) try to construct another contender.
This point won't matter if the lottery balls bounce in San Antonio’s favor on May 16th, as a lead guard/freak athlete (Henderson) and unicorn/best prospect since LeBron (Wembanyama) are both needs for the Spurs. Either teenager would step in as the first option and fit like a glove next to Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, and Jeremy Sochan.
Following those top two, Tankathon has eight guys in a row on their Big Board who are listed at 6’7” or taller. Sure, some may play different positions (the Thompson twins profile more as guards), but all options after Scoot and Wemby add size to the team. Though it may seem like the Spurs should select someone who allows them to keep Devin, Keldon, and Jeremy on the floor, PATFO shouldn’t draft solely to fulfill that desire. Collecting talent is of the utmost importance right now.