5 Stars the San Antonio Spurs missed drafting by a single pick

San Antonio came just a pick away from selecting these star players over the years.
Tyrese Haliburton, Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs
Tyrese Haliburton, Keldon Johnson, San Antonio Spurs / Dylan Buell/GettyImages
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2. Rudy Gobert, 2013

In 2013, the Spurs were coming off a heartbreaking loss in the NBA Finals to the Heat, and were focused on re-upping their core to run it back the next year. As we know, they made good on that goal and won the 2014 Finals. But what that means is that San Antonio probably had less interest in scouting young talent than they may have had in other years.

That would make their miss in this draft a bit more excusable. Owning the 28th pick, the Spurs selected Livio Jean-Charles out of ASVEL Basket in France. It was a fine pick for a late first-round selection, but Jean-Charles actually ended up being the only player from the first round of that draft to never appear in an NBA game.

What makes matters worse is that San Antonio came one pick away from selecting Rudy Gobert, a fellow French basketball player who of course turned out to be much more of a success. The rim-protecting big man was taken with the 27th overall pick by the Utah Jazz, and he would go on to win three Defensive Player of the Year awards with the team.

Of course, Gobert was not available for the Spurs to select him at 28th, but they still came a mere one pick from being able to take him. San Antonio transitioning from Tim Duncan's defense down low to Rudy Gobert's would have been a sight to behold.