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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3. Jimmy Butler, 2011

Going back a little bit further to 2011, this was a year where there was a significant amount of pressure on the Spurs to get something done on draft night. The team had just won 60 games and earned the top seed in the Western Conference, all to get beaten by the eight-seed Memphis Grizzlies in round one.

With the Spurs' big three starting to show some age, many speculated their run as a dominant West contender was all but finished. As a result, the organization knew they needed to do some reloading, and fast. The big move they ended up making was trading for Indiana's 15th-overall pick from that draft, who as we know was Kawhi Leonard.

His addition ultimately ended up putting San Antonio on track to contend post-big three, but the team nearly had another massive get on that same night. Owning the 29th pick in the first round, the Spurs took point guard Cory Joseph from the University of Texas. But the very next pick? Jimmy Butler.

Being drafted to the Chicago Bulls, Butler began what would become a very unlikely and very impressive career. Always an underdog, Jimmy's uncommon mentality and grit helped make him one of the best wings of this era. After he joined the Miami Heat, he became the driving force of the team's offense and led them to two Finals appearances.

One of the greatest "what if" scenarios in Spurs history has to be if the team drafted Butler on that night in 2011. Not only would it have created a dominant wing duo along with Kawhi, but it also could have increased the possibility Leonard stayed with the team in the long run since he would have had a legitimate running mate.