The San Antonio Spurs have another viable international prospect to consider this summer.
Gabriele Procida, a nearly 6-8 guard/forward out of Italy, will turn 20 years old on June 1st and has been gaining traction as a potential late pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Playing for Fortitudo Bologna in Lega Basket Serie A this season, he's in his second straight year of shooting above 38% from beyond the arc, albeit on a low volume (2.6 attempts per game over two seasons).
Where Procida shines brightest is with his speed in the open court and ability to play with pace. At the 2022 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago last week, he finished tied for first in the three-quarter sprint, recording a time of 3.07 seconds. That plus his explosiveness and sweet shooting stroke turned some heads in the Windy City.
Procida was also in the top five of Combine attendees in body fat percentage.
The Spurs have already reached out to Procida during the scouting process, sending Manu Ginobili to talk to him in Chicago.
Of course, San Antonio has a rich history of scouting international talent and helping them succeed, most notably Tony Parker and Ginobili. They've had success with Italian talent in the past as well, with Marco Belinelli being the first Italian to win an NBA Championship in 2014.
What should be the Spurs' approach?
Considering the Spurs have three 1st round picks plus the 38th pick in June's draft, they can afford to make a couple of gambles. Currently, Procida is projected to go somewhere in the 40s, meaning he could be available when San Antonio's turn comes in the 2nd round.
If San Antonio gives Procida a shot here, it should probably be in a draft-and-stash scenario, as they've often done in the past. Over the next year, he could continue developing his all-around game, particularly his ball-handling and defensive instincts.
One way or another, the Spurs are going to have to consolidate their roster given their abundance of picks, and this would keep a slot open for a higher pick or possible addition through trade or free agency.
The fact that San Antonio has already met with Procida could turn the heads of other executives in the league, who frequently look to the Spurs when it comes to evaluating talent. While using their 25th pick would probably be too big of a swing for him, maybe the Spurs could find a way to pick a bit earlier than 38th via a trade with their numerous assets.
However they do it, the Spurs should seriously consider taking a chance on Procida somewhere in the draft, especially if they nab a safe, solid choice at 9th.