San Antonio Spurs: 3 realistic draft options at 12th pick

Usman Garuba - Real Madrid v Valencia - ACB Semi Finals
Usman Garuba - Real Madrid v Valencia - ACB Semi Finals / Sonia Canada/Getty Images
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San Antonio Spurs
Usman Garuba - FC Barcelona v Real Madrid / Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs select Usman Garuba

Usman Garuba is a 6'8" big man currently playing with Real Madrid and has slowly become one of my favorite players to watch in his draft class.

In my mind, what makes him a realistic pick at #12 overall is that he's being outshined and less covered in the media compared to some of the draft's other bigs like Kai Jones and Alperen Sengun. At one time, it got to the point that Garuba was slipping into second-round conversations.

That being said, contrary to those takes, his defense alone makes Garuba well-deserving of a first-round pick. In fact, I wrote up an entire piece dedicated to describing how his defensive abilities can be game-changing for the Spurs in the future. In short, at 230 pounds, he has the strength to defend bigs in the interior, and the agility to defend quicker guards and wings on the perimeter. He has a rare defensive package and is built like a modern small-ball 5.

While many are concerned with his offense, I don't think he's far away from creating a foundation that he can build upon. While his shots weren't falling toward the beginning of his season, he was a lot more consistent in recent months and can stand to improve even more.

I think he has a real chance to be one of the two or three best defenders in his class, and because he'll also fit well next to the others in the Spurs' young core, he would be a fantastic 12th pick.