San Antonio Spurs: 2021 NBA Draft Big Board 1.0
San Antonio Spurs NBA Draft Big Board: Players 4 - 1
4. Jonathan Kuminga - Wing, G-League Ignite
Jonathan Kuminga is an uber-athletic wing that, while still pretty raw, is one of the youngest players in his class and has the tools to become an All-NBA quality player. On offense, he already has a decent mid-range game and has the ability to finish up top. If his outside shooting develops well, he'll be a scary three-level scoring threat. For the Spurs, he could quickly become one of their best scorers, should rebound the ball well, and will fill a position of need on defense.
For now, though, Kuminga is a bit predictable on the offensive end of the floor because of his lack of outside shooting. As one of the younger players in the draft, he will also need to learn to take better care of the ball and take smarter shots so as to improve his pretty abysmal efficiency. These are all fixable issues though that are common in young players.
3. Jalen Green - Shooting Guard, G-League Ignite
With the number of guards that the Spurs currently have on their roster, I came into this big board thinking that it would have to take a very good guard to make it at all, let alone high on the list, and Jalen Green is that guy. He very well could come out of next season as the rookie scoring leader and it would not surprise me in the least. All signs point to him being at least an above-average shooter as he becomes more consistent, and he already seems to have a great understanding of team defense.
What concerns me most about Green is that it could be a lateral move for the Spurs. Assuming for now that the Spurs would have to trade up to draft him, it would likely mean that either Lonnie Walker or Derrick White would have to go. It would also mean that the Spurs organization is certain or at least very confident that Green will turn out better than one or both of them which, while not necessarily a bad bet at all, is definitely not a sure thing either. The payoff would have to be big for the move to be worth it.
2. Evan Mobley - Forward, USC
Evan Mobley proved that he's ready for the next level during his time with USC. He's one of the most fundamentally sound and skilled players on both ends of the floor in the entire NCAA, and he did it as a seven-footer. He's already an elite defender, particularly at the rim, and has the agility necessary to defend smaller guards and wings on closeouts and when defending the ball-handler. He also happens to be one of the best facilitating big men in his class and a crafty scorer around the bucket.
To reach his full potential, Mobley will need to continue developing his jump shot and he'll need to fill out his frame. While he's a versatile defender, he's going to have a lot of trouble defending more physical bigs like Joel Embiid and Anthony Davis at first, regardless of how instinctual he is on that side of the floor. Give him a few years of seasoning, though, and he could be a reincarnated Chris Bosh.
1. Cade Cunningham - Point Forward, Oklahoma State
You may have seen this one coming, but to be honest, this wasn't much of a decision in my mind. Based on Cade Cunningham's sheer versatility alone, I would seriously question any front office that would pass him up with the number one pick unless there are some serious issues with his intangibles that we aren't aware of. He can do just about everything on both sides of the floor.
Cunningham took an Oklahoma State Cowboys team that probably should not have been very good to play Texas in the Big 12 Championship game and then to the NCAA Tournament. He was one of the most impactful players in the NCAA on both sides of the floor and very well could turn out to be a superstar in the league. If I were forced to pick one player in the entire draft class that has the "it" factor, it's Cunningham and it isn't all that close.