Which post-lottery NBA Mock draft nailed it for Spurs fans?
By Josh Paredes
The San Antonio Spurs learned on Tuesday that they'll be selecting 9th overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, which will be the earliest of their four selections. Now the question shifts to who they'll take with that pick.
It's widely agreed that the top three prospects of Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jabari Smith are set in stone while Jaden Ivey and Keegan Murray are starting to solidify themselves as picks four and five. Right now, it's a jumble from then on, with several outlets having guys all over their place in their mock drafts.
A day after the NBA Lottery took place, several mainstream media outlets shared their thoughts on which player every team should be taking in the first round. I shared four of them on Twitter and asked Spurs fans for their thoughts.
ESPN - Dyson Daniels, Kennedy Chandler, Kendall Brown
Receiving zero votes or comments in my poll was ESPN's Mock Draft, which has the Spurs taking Dyson Daniels, Kennedy Chandler, and Kendall Brown. "The one person the Spurs should not draft is Kennedy Chandler," said @GazerGazerHeee on Twitter.
Taking a 6-foot point guard with their 20th pick would certainly be a head-scratcher for the Spurs, who have Dejounte Murray and a solid backup in Tre Jones still developing. I'm not quite sure ESPN did much research on San Antonio's needs when they wrote their mock.
SB Nation - Bennedict Mathurin, Nikola Jovic, Kennedy Chandler
Also receiving no love from Spurs fans was the mock from SB Nation, who also had the Spurs taking Kennedy Chandler in the first round but this time with the 25th pick. No matter where the pick is, though, it still doesn't make a whole lot of sense for San Antonio, even though the other two choices aren't bad.
The Athletic - AJ Griffin, Walker Kessler, Nikola Jovic
Some people were fans of The Athletic's first post-Lottery mock for San Antonio, which had them taking Duke's AJ Griffin 9th, Auburn's Walker Kessler 20th, and Serbia's Nikola Jovic 25th.
"I like The Athletic the most but would be surprised if Griffin is still there at 9," said Air Alamo writer Ethan Farina. The reservation is certainly understandable, as Griffin has been landing as high as the top five in some mock drafts. In NBADraft.net's consensus mock on Wednesday, he was all the way up to number four, in Sacramento's spot.
Still, there could be some rising prospects like Shaedon Sharpe or Keegan Murray to jumble up those spots in the draft.
I would be ok with the selections of Griffin and Jovic at these spots, but I'm not sure about taking Walker Kessler 20th -- that seems like a bit of a swing for not that much upside. The inclusion of Griffin, whom fellow Air Alamo writer Roberto Araiza previously said looks a must-draft, makes this mock good but not great.
The Ringer - Bennedict Mathurin, Nikola Jovic, Kendall Brown
Running away with the poll was The Ringer's mock, which had the Spurs taking Bennedict Mathurin, Nikola Jovic, and Kendall Brown.
"The Ringer's list is definitely better for the Spurs," said Air Alamo writer Cal Durrett. "Mathurin is a Walker upgrade, Jovic has a high ceiling, and Brown has a chance to be a very good rotation player."
We've previously covered why Jovic is worth a first-round gamble, and Durrett recently had Brown as one of the top candidates that should be available at the 25th slot this June. Since I can see all three of these players fulfilling a need with the Spurs, I think The Ringer is probably the best option out of these four as well.
The 2022 NBA Draft will be taking place on June 23rd, and that will be a huge night for the Spurs going forward.