Grading the Latest Spurs' Mock Draft Lottery Pick by The Athletic

Johnny Davis
Johnny Davis / John Fisher/GettyImages

It looks like The Athletic believes the San Antonio Spurs may be taking yet another guard with their lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.

In his mock draft 5.0 from February 17th (subscription required), Sam Vecenie projects the Spurs will be taking 6-5 wing Johnny Davis out of Wisconsin with their seventh pick.

Calling him one of the favorites for national player of the year, Vecenie points out the huge numbers Davis is putting up for a Wisconsin team that, frankly, isn't very good without him. Through his 25 games played this season, he's averaging 20.6 points, 8.3 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game to lead his club to a 22-5 record.

The major areas of concern with taking Davis are his outside jumper and defensive versatility, Vecenie points out. Davis is hitting just 33% of his 3-pointers but shot 38.9% last season.

Johnny Davis would be a safe but unspectacular pick

I asked Air Alamo's draft expert, Roberto Araiza, for his assessment of the Spurs taking Davis at number seven.

"This would be a pretty safe pick," he said. "He's a very versatile guard with two-way upside, so it would be pretty on-brand. He's carrying Wisconsin super hard right now."

While Davis puts in high-level effort defensively, his 6-foot-4 1/2 frame simply might not allow him to be as switchable as the Spurs might hope their lottery pick to be. While he'd definitely add a scoring option who could also rebound well, I'm not sold on that being the priority for this team, especially so early in the draft.

"My biggest complaint about his game right now is his 3-point shooting," said Araiza. "But he's legit otherwise."

While I agree with the assessment and could see him as a productive pick, I can't help but think the Spurs should use this early pick for someone like Jalen Duren out of Memphis. Taking a big like him or even packaging this pick with another 1st-round pick to move even higher up might be a better call.

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