1.) Jeremy Sochan
Is there any other answer that makes sense here? The Spurs drafted Sochan for his talent as a high-level defender, which instantly translated to the NBA during his rookie season. Gregg Popovich didn't wait long before handing the Baylor product some of the most challenging defensive assignments in the league.
Sochan embraced covering the best player on the opposing team, including back-to-back matchups with future Hall of Famers Steph Curry and Damian Lillard. The second-year combo forward shined as an man-to-man defender, and he showed a knack for irritating players with his physicality and tireless motor.
The ninth overall pick of the 2022 NBA Draft was the most versatile defender for the Silver and Black. He took on the best scorers on a nightly basis. Perhaps his most well-known matchups of the season came against LeBron James. He held LeBron to 4-of-15 shooting in three games, making him feel his presence on every possession.
Sochan is the most well-rounded defender on the roster. He smothers opposing ball handlers, has excellent instincts in the passing lane, makes punctual rotations as a team defender, and has some remarkable footwork that allows him to switch across any position on the floor. The 20-year-old has an immense amount of potential for the Spurs to tap into, and he should continue making progress toward becoming an All-Defense caliber player as he enters his sophomore season.