8 Controversial Picks Only the Spurs Might Gamble On

Leonard Miller
Leonard Miller / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs' 20th Overall Pick

Moussa Diabate - Michigan

Why the Spurs May Be Interested

Perhaps outside of Ibou Badji, I’m very comfortable in saying that Moussa Diabate is the biggest sleeper center of his draft class. Diabate often played as Michigan’s power forward with Hunter Dickinson playing the 5, but even while playing out of position, Diabate managed to look like the team’s most important player on several occasions.

His stats may underwhelm you, but at roughly 6’11” and 210 pounds, Diabate is a switchable, modern center that can fight for rebounds down low and play suffocating defense on the perimeter when needed.

Why His Selection Would Be Controversial

If the Spurs were to bite on a big like Diabate late in the 1st round, it would be to prevent him from returning to school and raising his stock price, much like with Josh Primo. While he’s shown some flashes of a face-up game off the bounce, most of Diabate’s potential lies on the defensive end of the floor for the time being.

Once again, this would be another project player, but he may come at a much better value compared to some of the other centers in his class. I stated in my latest Mock Draft that I think Diabate is a 1st-round talent, and I’m sticking to my guns here.

San Antonio Spurs
Leonard Miller / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

Leonard Miller - Fort Eerie International Academy

Why the Spurs May Be Interested

Ready for a name you may not have heard yet? Look out for Leonard Miller to be one of the biggest risers in the draft if he declares. The 6’11” Canadian point-forward out of Fort Erie International Academy has yet to play an NCAA game and is reportedly deciding between the University of Arizona, University of Kentucky, and NBA G League Ignite. That said, according to sources, he may consider skipping his freshman season entirely and declaring for this year’s draft. 

At one point a 6’4” guard, Miller grew 6-7 inches in roughly a span of 1.5 years and retained many of his guard skills. He’s comfortable with putting the ball on the floor, shooting off the bounce, and reportedly shot 40% from beyond the arc in his last year of high school. He also has a big frame with roughly a 7’4” wingspan and projects as a lanky, switchable defender.

His latest performance at the Nike Hoop Summit (full game above) turned lots of heads for good reason, so much so that he may have played himself comfortably into the 1st round of the draft.

Why His Selection Would Be Controversial

Leonard would be a risk in the same way that Shaedon Sharpe is a risk given that he hasn’t played a minute of college basketball. With that in mind, though, if he’s available in the 20s on draft night, I find it hard to believe that there will be another player with more two-way upside available, possibly barring one of the next two prospects.

Miller may be a year or two away from making a big splash, but he’s simply oozing with upside. Regardless, though, even though he would fit in well with the current roster, he's undoubtedly a huge swing.