The San Antonio Spurs’ playoff hopes may have come to an end this season, but with the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery now less than one month away, there’s plenty to still be excited about.
After many predicted the Spurs would have a quiet trade deadline, the Spurs made several notable moves that landed them two extra 1st round picks at 20th and 25th overall. Including the Spurs’ own lottery pick and 38th overall pick in the 2nd round that comes by way of the Los Angeles Lakers, the Spurs will have the chance to add four new players to the roster.
Will the Spurs actually choose to roster four rookies? I’m inclined to say probably not. With that in mind, though, the Spurs are frequently tough to gauge when it comes to the draft, and after they surprised draft analysts everywhere and selected Josh Primo in the lottery this past summer, we’re comfortable with saying that just about anything is possible.
The perception of the 2022 NBA Draft is mixed, to say the very least, and some claim that the class as a whole is weak compared to the last few draft cycles and likely that of 2023 as well. These claims do have some merit considering some of the lingering questions surrounding several big-name prospects.
For example, would Jalen Duren have looked better with a proper point guard feeding him the ball? Would Patrick Baldwin Jr. have looked better as a role player at a bigger program like Duke? Did John Calipari’s antiquated offensive game plan hold TyTy Washington back from looking more like a top 10 pick? I could go on with similar questions about this year’s prospects for ages, but I think you may get the idea.
While I’m not totally sold that the upcoming draft features a “weak” class, here's what I am relatively sure about: it’s going to be just as, if not far more unpredictable than the 2021 NBA Draft, and some teams are going to make some decisions that will surprise fans and analysts alike. Being that the Spurs now have four picks in the upcoming draft and don’t necessarily have to play it safe, I will not be surprised to see them make yet another pick (or two, or three) that puzzles fans.
Here, we’re going to talk about some potentially controversial draft picks. Beginning with the Spurs’ 38th overall pick and working our way up the draft board, we’ll name two players for each pick that should be on fans’ radars, why the Spurs may be interested in each player at the given pick, and why their selection could be controversial in the minds of fans.