Ron Holland: The San Antonio Spurs' potential next cornerstone

The 2024 NBA Draft is just around the corner for the San Antonio Spurs, and the G League Ignite's Ron Holland could prove to be the team's top option.
Ron Holland - NBA G League Fall Invitational - Perth Wildcats v G League Ignite
Ron Holland - NBA G League Fall Invitational - Perth Wildcats v G League Ignite / Ethan Miller/GettyImages
1 of 4
Next Slide

The NBA offseason is finally here for the San Antonio Spurs after what turned out to be an exciting, albeit somewhat demoralizing, season for the players and fans alike. Despite adding a clear superstar-level talent to the roster in Victor Wembanyama this past offseason, the team struggled to the finish line this year, tying last season's record of 22 wins and 60 losses.

While there are certainly signs that this won't be the case for much longer, this past season was mostly defined by a young Spurs team playing up to stiffer competition, disappointing moments of playing down to middling or struggling teams, a highly questionable point guard experiment with Jeremy Sochan, and the mantra of learning and reinforcing good habits.

The NBA Draft Lottery and the NBA Draft itself loom on the horizon, but this year's incoming class is turning out to be one of the most divisive in recent memory. Prominent (unnamed) front-office executives have gone on record calling the 2024 NBA Draft "absolutely awful" and the lack of a clear consensus in the draft community at large, even this late in the draft cycle, is obvious.

Following a stacked 2023 draft class that featured nearly endless talent down the board was already going to be a tough ask of any group of players, and the lack of a clear #1 talent has only exacerbated negative feelings about the group.

Even so, however, the Spurs are slated to have yet another high lottery pick in this upcoming draft, and the time has come to begin discussing who the pick could be, as difficult as that may sound. But amid all the noise, bickering, and general animosity toward this draft class, a name toward the top of many draft boards stands out as a talent that Spurs fans need to begin paying attention to: Ronald (Ron) Holland II.

Ron Holland: A brief introduction

Born on July 7, 2005, Ron Holland's journey to the NBA Draft has been punctuated by remarkable achievements, including gold medals in the prestigious FIBA youth tournaments of 2021 and 2022, being named a consensus five-star high school prospect, appearing in the McDonald's All-American Game, the 2023 Nike Hoop Summit, and more. The Duncanville, TX native led his high school team to a #3 national ranking, putting up 20.3 points, 10.1 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 2 steals per game in his senior season.

Listed at an imposing 6-foot-8 (but likely standing closer to 6-foot-6 or 6-foot-7) and weighing 206 pounds, Holland possesses the ideal physique for a modern wing player. Transitioning from high school and international success to the G League Ignite at only 18 years old, Holland has honed his game against seasoned professionals, solidifying his status as one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft pool.

His combination of youth, size, strength, and agility bodes well for his versatility on both ends of the floor, and his overall NBA upside is among the highest in his draft class, despite some underwhelming counting stats.

Operating primarily as a small forward, Holland brings a dynamic skill set to the table, blending scoring prowess with defensive tenacity. His tenure with the G League Ignite has provided invaluable experience against professional competition in NBA-like schemes, where he was given the greenest of green lights to showcase his abilities in a high-pressure environment as a de facto #1 option.

Holland will undoubtedly have some areas for improvement to address at the next level, some of which will be discussed here, but the fact of the matter is that high-level production is often one of the safest indicators of NBA success. Despite underwhelming efficiency, the 18-year-old managed to put up 18.4 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, 2.3 steals, and 0.8 blocks per game against professionals, many of whom have played NBA minutes, and that cannot be overlooked. But that isn't the end of Holland's appeal.