8 Controversial Picks Only the Spurs Might Gamble On

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San Antonio Spurs' 38th Overall Pick

Trevion Williams – Purdue

Why the Spurs May Be Interested

NBA teams are increasingly opting for players that have size and skill, and while it’s very possible that the Spurs will have a chance at a player with a higher ceiling at this point in the draft, Trevion Williams simply knows how to play good basketball. He has decent handles for a 6’10” big, grabs tons of rebounds, is effective on post-ups, and is quite possibly the best passer in his draft class regardless of position. It’s doubtful he becomes a star, but high-level playmakers in the frontcourt aren’t particularly easy to come by this late in the draft.

Why His Selection Would Be Controversial

While Williams is certainly skilled, his lack of athleticism, distance shooting, and defensive upside severely caps his ceiling. His best-possible outcome is a high-level role player, and while I think he could make a team very happy in the right situation, unless Chip Engelland is able to help develop his jumper, the Spurs may not be the best situation for him.

Ibou Dianko Badji – Forca Lleida CE/F.C. Barcelona

Why the Spurs May Be Interested

In contrast to Trevion Williams, the Spurs would likely be interested in Ibou Badji because of his freakish athleticism and upside as a rim protector. Badji’s measurements are very reminiscent of a young Rudy Gobert, standing at 7’1” with a 7’6” wingspan and weighing in at 240 pounds.

He isn’t quite as productive on the court compared to a similar big like Ismael Kamagate, but he makes up for that with his youth (being only 19 years old), better feel for the game, and upside as a shooter. I’d argue that he’s just as good, if not a better gamble than Kamagate if the Spurs can get him in the 2nd round. 

Why His Selection Would Be Controversial

While someone like Kamagate is a bit older and more NBA-ready despite some questions about his basketball IQ, Badji is young, raw, and a year away from being a year away. He’s stuck in no man’s land between the Liga ACB (Barcelona) and LEB Oro (Forca Lleida CE) and as a result, is getting very inconsistent playing time with both teams. He’s without a doubt a big project player, but one that could have a tremendous payout if the team (and fans) remain patient with him.