3 Players the San Antonio Spurs should avoid in the 2023 NBA Draft

San Diego State v Alabama
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Brandin Podziemski
Santa Clara v Brigham Young / Chris Gardner/GettyImages

2: Brandin Podziemski

Brandin Podziemski (I swear I don't have it out for prospects named Brandon) has vaulted up big boards over the last month. The 6-foot-5 sophomore guard transferred to Santa Clara after a disappointing freshman campaign at Illinois and quickly became one of the best mid-major players in the country. He averaged 19.9 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.7 assists, and 1.8 steals per game on excellent efficiency (48.3% FG, 43.8% 3PT). It's easy to see why Draft Twitter fell in love with Podziemski when looking at his tape, as his scoring touch and shooting ability are far above the standard for most college players.

However, it's important to remember that Santa Clara is in the West Coast Conference, and the level of competition Podziemski faced was far from the standards of what most first-round prospects had to go up against in Power Five conferences. As for his game, there are still aspects he must shore up. Much like Brandon Miller, Podziemski lacks that quick first step to get by defenders and create separation, causing him to pick up his dribble before he gets to the basket.

Despite averaging nearly two steals per game, he struggles in man-to-man defense, often closing out too hard on jumpers or not offering much resistance on straight-line drives from opponents. Podziemski had a system around him in Santa Clara that catered to his strengths and helped him improve in many aspects. But it's hard to see him becoming a three-level scorer rather than a catch-and-shoot specialist. The Spurs also have too much backcourt depth to offer Podziemski developmental minutes.