Latest intel suggests the Spurs may pair Wembanyama with an in-demand prospect

The 2024 NBA Draft will be big for the San Antonio Spurs, who are reportedly interested in pairing an in-demand prospect with star Victor Wembanyama.
Gregg Popovich
Gregg Popovich / Megan Briggs/GettyImages

The upcoming NBA Draft is huge for the San Antonio Spurs, who have two top-8 picks and the chance to add to a terrific core that includes star Victor Wembanyama. Thus far, many expect the Spurs to pick Stephon Castle and Devin Carter; however, a surprising new report suggests that another player could be in play for the fourth pick.

According to ESPN's Jonathan Givony, the Spurs are intrigued by Donovan Clingan. Clingan is expected to be a top-7 pick with teams such as the Atlanta Hawks, Charlotte Hornets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Memphis Grizzlies seemingly having interest in him. We can potentially add the Spurs to that list, though their interest may not be as straightforward as it might seem.

Clingan is well-regarded as a defensive player thanks to his elite rim protection, though he has offensive potential with his screen setting, finishing, and passing. In theory, that would make for a fascinating pairing with Wembanyama, with the Spurs potentially being able to smother teams defensively for years to come, but would the Spurs actually draft Clingan?

Will the San Antonio Spurs actually draft Donovan Clingan? 

There might be some truth to the rumors of the Spurs drafting Clingan, though not for the reasons one might think. With several teams possibly interested in him, the Spurs may be floating the idea of drafting him simply to get one of the teams behind them to trade up to land him. If it works, the move would net the Spurs another asset while also resulting in them getting the player they want.

That might include a team such as the Grizzlies trading them the 39th pick and possibly a pick swap or a protected first-round pick for the draft rights to Clingan. Or, the Spurs could take Clingan with the agreement that the Hawks draft Zaccharie Risasher.

That probably wouldn't cost San Antonio the eighth pick, but perhaps they'd relinquish the rights to Atlanta's 2026 first and/or include Charlotte's 2025 lottery-protected first, which would become two seconds if it doesn't convey. Based on that, there appears to be a decent chance that the Spurs may draft Clingan, but likely only as a part of a draft night trade.