Bilal Coulibaly is the Spurs' trade-up target hiding in plain sight

Bilal Coulibaly - Boulogne Levallois v Monaco - Betclic Elite
Bilal Coulibaly - Boulogne Levallois v Monaco - Betclic Elite / Aurelien Meunier/GettyImages
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The San Antonio Spurs are reportedly active in the trade market for another top pick in the 2023 NBA Draft to go alongside soon-to-be #1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama. And given the team's lack of depth and talent at the point guard position, it makes sense that many of the team's top candidates have the potential to fill that role in the near future, with Kobe Bufkin, Anthony Black, Jalen Hood-Schifino, Cason Wallace, and the Thompson twins all serving as examples.

With the Spurs' #1 option in Wembanyama on the way, the team will undoubtedly begin paying closer attention to team fit when evaluating prospects in the draft, in free agency, and in the trade market. But on the flip side of that coin, the draft is often the best place to take a swing on potential, and considering how many draft assets the Spurs have stockpiled in recent seasons, along with the fact that the Spurs are still quite early in their rebuild, now could be the time to take one last big swing before focusing on finding game-ready, and perhaps even playoff-ready players to add to the roster.

It makes plenty of sense that the Spurs will be targeting point guards in the draft, but make no mistake: the Spurs will not pass up a player they see as the best available just because they don't play the point guard position. Non-point guards like Jarace Walker and Keyonte George have both been linked to the Spurs for understandable reasons, as both players are highly talented in their own ways. But skill overlap/roster conflict (with Devin Vassell and Jeremy Sochan, to be specific) could be a real issue with both players, particularly if the goal is to insert them into the starting lineup in the future.

Finding a clean roster "fit" that also avoids such overlap is a bit of a challenge, particularly when considering that the Spurs intentionally filled out their roster with three 1st round picks this past season. But if you're asking me, if the Spurs opt for a non-point guard, the goal should be to find a player with a clear pathway to minutes in San Antonio that also won't detract from the value of the other young players' minutes.

If we narrow down the possibilities further down to lottery-level prospects that could return tremendous value in a vacuum, one name sticks out to me as fitting the bill: Victor Wembanyama's current Metropolitans 92 teammate Bilal Coulibaly. Here, we'll briefly touch on some of his strengths and areas for improvement, and dissect why he'd make sense within the Spurs as they're currently constructed.