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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5. Karl Malone, 1985

One of the best players of the 1990s nearly ended up in South Texas instead of the mountains of Utah for his NBA career. Karl Malone was drafted 13th overall by the Jazz in 1985, and he would play the first 18 seasons of his career with the franchise.

In the '85 draft, the Spurs owned the 14th overall pick and used it to select Alfredrick Hughes, who played one professional season in the NBA and averaged 5.2 points. Karl Malone was selected just one spot before Hughes, and he would put up the third-most points in NBA history, with over 36,000 to his name over 19 seasons in the association.

Trying to imagine a frontcourt duo of Malone and David Robinson boggles the mind, as they would have been one of the most physically imposing duos in NBA history. As is the case with Rudy Gobert, the Spurs did not miss on drafting Malone since he was not available by the time their pick came around, but they were still oh so close to having him in Silver and Black.

Honorable Mentions: Notable names that aren't stars

  • Donte DiVincenzo, 2018
  • Kevin Huerter, 2018
  • Josh Hart, 2017
  • Larry Nance Jr., 2015