8 Controversial Picks Only the Spurs Might Gamble On

Leonard Miller
Leonard Miller / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
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San Antonio Spurs 9th Overall Pick

Dyson Daniels - G League Ignite

Why the Spurs May Be Interested

Many seem to think Dyson Daniels will be available after the lottery, but I am having an increasingly difficult time believing that. At only 19 years old, I’m very comfortable in saying he’s the best defensive guard in his class, and considering he now stands at 6’8” in shoes, he’s understandably moved into lottery range at several outlets.

Daniels has a fantastic floater package, has a very good feel for the game that’s rare in such a young prospect, is a sneaky good athlete, and should be able to defend 3-4 positions at the next level. I’m highly confident that he and Josh Primo would be the best and most versatile backup defensive backcourt in the NBA by a long shot. 

Why His Selection Would Be Controversial

While Daniels is unique in that he’s around 6’8”, he is yet another guard, and even if the Spurs think he’s the best player available at their draft position in the lottery, I’m not too sure how fans will feel about this pick.

If you’re asking me, I firmly believe he’s a top 10 pick and that he would bring a ton of value, but I also know he will not be a seamless fit on the current roster, and his addition may have some negative implications for Tre Jones. 

Ousmane Dieng - New Zealand Breakers

Why the Spurs May Be Interested

The NBL to NBA pipeline only seems to be growing these days, but something that has remained fairly consistent over the past few years is that the draft community seems to undersell the NBL’s prospects a bit.

While 6’10” point forward Ousmane Dieng certainly had an underwhelming start to his season, he’s shown enough flashes of two-way versatility (despite receiving inconsistent minutes) to possibly sway a lottery team in his direction. His defense is what has kept him in draft conversations up to this point, but after a 22-point, 6-rebound, 5-assist game against the S.E. Melbourne Phoenix a couple of weeks ago, his stock is quickly rising. He has great passing vision, has a smooth-looking jumper, and is more than comfortable handling the ball.

Why His Selection Would Be Controversial

Many still view Dieng as a late 1st round prospect for understandable reasons, but similarly to Leonard Miller, finding young players that are near-seven-footers with a solid combination of guard skills, defensive upside, and shooting potential are incredibly difficult to come by.

Next. Draft Big Board: How Spurs Balance Talent & Fit. dark

If the Spurs aren’t swayed enough by some of the players that have been consistently mocked to them in the lottery like Jalen Duren, Jeremy Sochan, Tari Eason, and even Dyson Daniels, Dieng is one of few that I could see the Spurs taking a home run swing on earlier than the consensus.