3 Players the San Antonio Spurs should avoid in the 2023 NBA Draft
The NBA Draft Lottery is tonight, and no matter where the San Antonio Spurs land, they will have plenty of talent to choose from. However, as is the issue with every batch of rookies, no one has the slightest clue if they will live up to expectations or how their games will translate to the highest level.
While the players we'll evaluate in this article aren't on bust watch, they all have multiple questions surrounding them as they enter the NBA, which should give the Silver and Black some cause for pause as they decide whether or not to invest one of their three draft picks in them this summer.
1: Brandon Miller
Assuming that the Spurs don't end up with a top-two draft pick and stay locked at third, they will likely have to choose between Brandon Miller and Amen Thompson as the best options after Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson. While many experts have argued Miller is the second-best prospect in this class, there are noticeable holes in his game.
As a freshman for Alabama this season, the 6-foot-9 forward showed lots of promise as a crafty shot creator with a smooth stroke from behind the arc, averaging nearly 19 points per game and leading the Crimson Tide to a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament. His ability to move off screens and shoot off the catch was another aspect of his game that many scouts drooled over.
However, when the ball was in his hands, Miller was prone to struggling against longer and stronger defenders. He doesn't have the quick first step to get by defenders or create separation, something he must work on, especially with all the elite athletes in the NBA. Miller also had problems finishing around the rim at the beginning of last season, as he shot a horrendous 41% inside the paint through his first ten games. While he eventually improved that percentage to a more respectable 65%, he tended not to use his 6-foot-9 frame to his advantage to rise over smaller defenders.
You could argue landing on the right team could help patch some of the holes in his game, and under the tutelage of Gregg Popovich, Miller could become the All-Star scouts envision. But perhaps the biggest issue with Miller is his fit on a young Spurs roster that already houses Keldon Johnson and Jeremy Sochan. The team could adjust their rotation to fit Miller into the starting lineup at the three or four by sliding either Sochan or Devin Vassell to the one, but drafting Amen Thompson could have a lot more upside.