With the NCAA Tournament now only about a month and a half away, it's about time to begin sorting through all of the nation's best players to speculate who could be next up for the San Antonio Spurs. After a rather shocking draft in which the Spurs selected Josh Primo 12th overall this past summer, fans should be eager to see which direction the team will go next.
There are certainly many different drafting philosophies out there and many factors to consider when evaluating young players. On a basic level, I'm a big proponent of selecting the best available player in any given draft and I think the success that the Cleveland Cavaliers have had this season is a fantastic example of why that is. Particularly when teams are selecting players toward the top of the draft board, the primary objective is to find cornerstone franchise pieces. Finding players that fit around those cornerstone pieces can be done later and in different ways.
With that in mind, though, there is still something to be said for addressing team needs in the draft if the conditions are right. After all, the Spurs smartly selected Joe Wieskamp in the second round of last year's draft to directly address the team's need for three-point shooting.
While one could certainly argue that the Spurs aren't in need of more rebounding as they're currently sitting at 6th in the league in rebounds per game, I think this could be a deceiving stat. While it's true that the Spurs are grabbing 46 boards per game, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Jakob Poeltl account for over half of those.
Being that White and Poeltl are increasingly appearing in trade rumors, the Spurs' rebounding situation could go from one end of the spectrum to the other relatively quickly. Plus, you really don't want your guards to have to be relied on to rebound as much as they do.
Here, I'll briefly go over five players the Spurs could target in the upcoming NBA Draft to get more boards from other positions. These players range from near surefire lottery picks all the way into the second round, and the primary requirement is that they can each come in and help to grab more boards.
Honorable Mention: Oscar Tshiebwe - Kentucky
It would be malpractice for me to leave Oscar Tshiebwe off of this list of players entirely being that he leads the entire NCAA in several rebounding metrics. He was a player on my radar last draft season while he still played at West Virginia, but some of my concerns from that time persist today. Tshiebwe is a bit caught in between positions as he's listed at 6'9" with the skillset of a more traditional center.
While I think he could carve out a role for himself in the league somewhere based on his high-level rebounding and efficiency around the rim, he doesn't strike me as someone versatile enough on either end of the floor to sweep Brian Wright off his feet. He likely won't be the most switchable defender in the NBA, has no semblance of an outside shot, and generally relies a lot on easy buckets near the rim.