With the 2022 NBA Draft coming up in the next few days, it's safe to say the San Antonio Spurs' fanbase is a bit on edge about their franchise's next selection. This is the highest pick since The Big Fundamental was drafted 25 years ago.
Sure, you could say the same thing about last year's pick, but this one just feels ... different. The stakes have never felt as high as they do now, and there are so many more avenues the Spurs could take this year. Some could be even franchise-altering. Let's take a quick look at three of the riskiest but potentially most rewarding paths the Spurs could take on Thursday.
1. The Spurs could jump at drafting Johnny Davis
One option I'm sure a friend of the site, Eric Salinas, would love to see is Johnny Davis. This 6'6 guard out of Wisconsin boasts some of the most interesting traits in the draft from a player his size and position. With his decent wingspan, he has clear defensive upside, is an incredible midrange shooter, and cleans the glass with a shade over eight rebounds per game.
He led an admittedly anemic Wisconsin team to the Big 10 quarterfinals by sheer willpower, averaging 19.7 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. It was a one-man show, and Davis stepped up when nobody else would, showing he has the prowess to be a true leader.
His issues show up sadly where the Spurs' own issues start: the 3-point line. Davis had a rough shooting year, sitting a hair over 30% last season while also posting 79% at the free-throw line. This was amplified by his supporting cast combining to be one of the most poorly spaced teams in college last season.
He has shown glimpses of being able to sink threes on the catch and shoot, but it is a serious concern that could limit his otherwise outstanding offensive package at the NBA level.
2. The Spurs could give Shaedon Sharpe a fair shake
Ah, another guard! See where the headline may come from? Shaedon Sharpe is generally a wildcard in this draft. He can be seen on boards anywhere from three to 18 and beyond. That uncertainty is a real thing, but there is also a palpable sense of mystique that comes along with it.
Sure, he has a bit of a problem when it comes to his ... "agent", if that is even the correct term, and he didn't play a single minute at Kentucky, but he has the tools to be a perennial star if they're harnessed correctly.
Sharpe is a 19-year-old stud on offense with explosive athleticism, outstanding shooting form, the ability to create separation off the dribble, and just generally has every tool you could possibly want from a projected primary scorer at the NBA level.
His issues are few and far between when it comes to on-court play. He is a bit of a streaky defender and his finishing ability is a bit lackluster. He is also generally a smaller fella at 6'5 and 198, though his near 7' wingspan aids that a bit.
3. The Spurs could call the Kings for Keegan Murray
Now THISSSSSS right here is malarkey, I know, but I want DRAMA *flings glitter in the air*. This is also probably the Spurs' only route to getting Keegan Murray, as he won't fall to 9th and it's hard to believe that teams between 5th and 7th would be willing to part with their pick for anything that isn't in the top 4.
This would require departing with not only either 9 or 20 and 25, but also with at least one of the young core. Is Keegan worth that? Probably not, but he does fill the role the Spurs are most thin at while being one of the most offensively complete players on the team if drafted. Averaging 23/8/1 on 62% from the field and 40% from three, this big man is a big scorer.
He can score in transition, stretch the floor, and even work the post. If the Spurs could somehow land him without giving up too much, they would be in an incredible spot with the stipulation that they're completely sold on building around Dejounte and trying to win now. Keegan doesn't really fit a long rebuild timeline.
These are three very fun picks that plenty of fans would hate. All of these would require the Spurs to take huge swings or massive risks in one sense or another, but there's nothing wrong with a bit of excitement in life! Brian Wright blossomed a bit last season during the draft by taking Josh Primo and following up free agency with a flurry of trades, so even if it is likely the Spurs stand pat at 9th and take Sochan/Duren/Eason/Williams, don't count out this iteration of the Spurs' front office.
They could blow it up and run wild just as easily as they could be conservative by drafting for need and "running it back" (though I hate that term.) This is all out of the fans' control, so my advice to them is to simply buckle up and get ready for the ride.