San Antonio rival projected to draft huge thorn in Spurs side

San Antonio Spurs rival Houston Rockets projected to draft Reed Sheppard in HoopsHype latest mock draft.
Victor Wembanyama, Dillon Brooks, Jae'Sean Tate
Victor Wembanyama, Dillon Brooks, Jae'Sean Tate / Ronald Cortes/GettyImages

The Spurs' draft strategy has been the main focus of the offseason, and that's how it should be; that's our team. But what has been overlooked is what the other teams may do. San Antonio does not operate in a vacuum and other teams will be strategizing in different ways to combat what they see coming over the horizon: Victor Wembanyama.

You've heard many players, former and current, stress that Wemby is coming for everything he can get his hands on. The front offices of the opponents see it coming as well, so it only makes sense to start building your roster accordingly, and if the Houston Rockets make the selection that the experts are expecting them to, it's a clear indication that the Spurs' I-10 rival has their eye on what's brewing down south.

Senior NBA Insider Michael Scotto took the initiative to compile mock drafts from several outlets and aggregate them into one massive mock based on consensus. It's his seventh version of this style of mock draft, and the Houston Rockets are generally expected to choose Reed Sheppard.

The Spurs don't need that type of shooter on the Rockets

Houston won the season series against the Spurs 3-1, with the lone victory for the Silver and Black coming on October 27th, when the season was in its infancy. One of the many concerning parts about those games was that the Rockets pulled out the wins without exceeding 32% from distance. They hammered San Antonio with effort and two-pointers.

Spurs fans will remember the 45-point, 16-rebound, five-steal performance from Alperen Sengun on March 5th. He was unstoppable. Sengun couldn't finish the season due to injury, but he will be back next season with a vengeance. If he continues to improve, it will give them an all-star-level presence in the paint while adding a ridiculously accurate sniper on the perimeter.

Reed Sheppard shot 52% from three last season. The Rockets have a lot of athleticism on their roster and Ime Udoka will continue to coach them up defensively. There's nothing San Antonio can do to stop Houston from making that pick. They have their own roster issues to worry about, but Spurs fans should be aware of what's possibly coming down the pipeline from one of their biggest rivals.