Ranking the 5 best lockdown defenders on the Spurs roster

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3.) Sidy Cissoko

San Antonio's recent second-rounder was a standout stopper for the G-Leauge Ignite, and he had no trouble translating his skills during his first taste of NBA action at the California Classic and Las Vegas Summer League.

Cissoko was instantly put to the test in his California Classic opener, going toe-to-toe with Brandon Miller. Though the number two overall pick of the 2023 NBA Draft ended the night with 18 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, a handful of those buckets came on late-game threes when Cissoko was no longer his primary defender.

Sidy looked like one of the top up-and-coming perimeter defenders, showcasing a ton of upside with his rotations while consistently making the right reads off the ball. He forced turnovers in the passing lanes, was an effective on-ball defender, and had well-timed double teams to bother ball handlers.

His defense stood out during the draft process. And while flashes of elite playmaking potential turned some heads, it was his defensive upside that convinced the Spurs to ink him to a three-year deal. San Antonio needed a high-energy defensive presence off the bench, and Cissoko could make an impact on that end early into his NBA career.

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