San Antonio Spurs draft sleeper: Ibou Badji
While Ibou Badji was initially on several mock drafts earlier this year, he's been slowly disappearing from draft conversations. He played almost exclusively with F.C. Barcelona's second team in the LEB Plata this past season and did not exactly stand out. In 26 games, he averaged about 7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in roughly 19 minutes per game.
What makes Badji so interesting, particularly for the Spurs, is his combination of size and athleticism. He stands at 7'1" with approximately a 7'8" wingspan, giving him remarkably similar measurements to Rudy Gobert. That said though, Badji's mobility for being so big is nearly unmatched. He's shown some serious potential as a switchable defender on the perimeter and rim protector near the bucket.
His potential also extends to the offensive end of the floor. While for the time being he mostly shines on the court as a roll man, that isn't necessarily a bad thing. While Jakob Poeltl has done fairly well as the roll man, one of my biggest complaints about his game up to this point is that he (usually) has an aversion to finishing with strength above the rim. Badji, on the other hand, is quite good in this area and could bring a more aggressive dynamic in the paint.
What has me particularly high on Badji though is his upside in other areas of his game like his shooting, ball-handling, and passing. While he hasn't been able to shine on too many occasions with Barcelona, he's had a few great games in the U19 FIBA World Cup, including a game with seven blocks against Japan.
Badji will surely be a longer-term project if the Spurs decide to select him, but considering that they could land him in the second round, the payoff could be massive if he is able to put it all together.