2021: Alperen Sengun over Joshua Primo with the 12th pick
Spurs fans knew this was coming. From the moment Commissioner Adam Silver announced Joshua Primo's name, it proved to be a controversial decision. Primo's name didn't appear on most first-round mock drafts or even on some second-round ones as well. That made the Spurs' decision to draft him all the more surprising, especially with center Alperen Sengun also available at 12. The team had a need at center, even with Jakob Poeltl starting, and Sengun would have given the Spurs a highly skilled offensive big that they could have molded.
In many ways, he was the safe pick, but Primo was a mystery box. He might've worked out had it not been for his alleged misconduct, but the team gambled with a lottery pick, and it failed miserably. Houston ended up taking Sengun at 15, and he has turned into a terrific player. Things still worked out for the best with the Spurs signing Zach Collins to a value contract later in the summer of 2021, and that has begun to pay dividends.
They also later traded Poeltl for a first-round pick and two second-rounders, and now they are in a position to select Wembanyama first in this year's draft. Even then, it would have been nice to extract some value from a lottery pick.