With the 2023 NBA Draft only one day away, San Antonio Spurs fans are anticipating the arrival of French phenom Victor Wembanyama, potentially alongside other players in the second round as the team holds both the 33rd and 44th overall picks as well.
However, the rumor mill has been picking up in a big way, and intel from Spurstalk's LJ Ellis suggests that the Spurs are seeking an additional first-round pick in the upcoming draft. While still quite early, the Spurs will be under a bit of pressure to begin rounding out their roster around Wembanyama so that he and the rest of the team can see playoff action sooner rather than later.
The rumors got even more specific than that, though, as Ellis provided fans with seven names he believes the Spurs will be interested in trading up for. All of those prospects are unique in their own right, but San Antonio might covet some of them more than others based on what they bring to the roster from a posiitional and skillset standpoint.
7. Keyonte George
As a massive fan of Keyonte George that had the opportunity to see him play in person on several occasions, this stings a bit. In a vacuum, he's one of my favorites in this draft cycle that many seem to be overthinking. I have no doubts that he'll be a talented scorer at the next level with underrated feel and execution as a playmaker, a good motor, and someone that will understand and buy into his role.
In the context of the Spurs, though, I worry quite a bit about his developmental overlap with both Devin Vassell and Malaki Branham. George doesn't quite have the rim pressure or playmaking acumen to play as the team's starting point guard, but also doesn't have the requisite talent to take Vassell's starting job at SG any time remotely soon. While I think the team could perhaps experiment with him as the bench unit's lead guard (as they sometimes did with Branham this past season), a Branham-George backcourt duo could easily lead to some serious defensive struggles early on.
In essence, while I firmly believe George will be a good to great NBA player, I don't see a clear developmental pathway for him with the Spurs that makes sense long-term, and that could very easily prevent him from fulfilling his potential in San Antonio.