High-profile lottery prospect sliding down draft boards is bad for Spurs

The 2024 NBA Draft is less than two weeks away and Rob Dillingham has slid down the draft board, posing a potential problem for the San Antonio Spurs.
2023 NBA Draft
2023 NBA Draft / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

The 2024 NBA Draft is shaping up to be one of the most intriguing in recent memory, and the San Antonio Spurs find themselves in a unique position with the potential to add another significant piece to their young core. However, recent developments regarding Kentucky Wildcats' guard Rob Dillingham have thrown a potential wrench into the Spurs' plans. Once considered a high lottery pick, Dillingham is sliding down draft boards, and this could make life more difficult for them.

Rob Dillingham is a talented player known for his exceptional handles, shooting, and passing. However, his 6'1" stature has become a sticking point for many teams, including the Spurs, who already have a small point guard in Tre Jones.

Dillingham will always have issues in the NBA

The Spurs need size and versatility in their backcourt, especially when considering the elite competition they'll face in deep playoff runs. Guards like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, who are long, quick, and athletic, can cause significant problems for smaller guards on both ends of the court.

While Dillingham's offensive skills are impressive, his defensive liabilities and potential struggles against bigger defenders are major concerns. This reality isn't lost on other NBA teams, which is why he's sliding down draft boards. Unfortunately for the Spurs, this slide means an increased chance that the prospect they have their eye on gets selected by another franchise.

The Spurs are in a delicate situation. They need a guard who complements their current roster, particularly Victor Wembanyama, and fits their vision for the future. A bigger guard with defensive prowess and shooting ability is preferable.

Stephon Castle, for example, fits the mold with his size but struggles with shooting and isn't a natural point guard no matter how much he tries to convince NBA scouts. San Antonio needs to avoid having to teach another prospect how to shoot, as noted by Spurs beat writers Jeff McDonald, Mike Finger, and Tom Orsborn during a recent Spurs draft webinar.

The shooters in this draft class tend to be undersized, while the bigger guards lack shooting consistency, making the selection process even more challenging.

Given these constraints, the Spurs might be better off trading for an established guard. Two names that come to mind are Dejounte Murray and Darius Garland. Murray has shown significant improvement in his shooting, hitting 36% from three last season and improving steadily over the last four years. Garland, meanwhile, was an efficient shooter at 38% from beyond the arc last season and offers playmaking and scoring versatility.

Trading for a proven player could mitigate the risk associated with drafting another project guard. The Spurs have a generational talent in Wembanyama, and they need to surround him with the right pieces to maximize their championship window. If the Spurs decide to stay in the draft, Dillingham's slide doesn't help them secure the bigger, more versatile guard the roster demands.

In summary, Rob Dillingham's descent down the draft boards is a double-edged sword for the Spurs. While it increases the likelihood of him being available when they pick, it also highlights the scarcity of ideal guard prospects in this draft class. The Spurs must navigate this situation carefully, balancing the need for immediate impact with the long-term development of their roster.