The San Antonio Spurs are out of playoff contention and prepping for the 2023 NBA Draft as the season winds down. Although the front office has the best odds in the league at landing a generational prospect that could expedite their rebuild, this storied organization hasn't always counted on the lottery to help them find their cornerstone players.
Tim Duncan and David Robinson fell into their laps, but their scouting and player development departments have been second to none over the last two decades. The Silver and Black have discovered numerous overlooked youngsters and maximized their talent on the court, so why not assemble a starting lineup of their all-time draft-day steals?
Point Guard: Tony Parker
The Spurs were ahead of the international scouting game when they selected Tony Parker with the 28th overall pick of the 2001 NBA Draft. Despite posting impressive numbers for Racing Basket Paris as an 18-year-old, seven guards came off the board before the lightning-quick ball handler heard league commissioner David Stern call his name.
Parker carved out a role in the starting lineup six games into his rookie season and never looked back, eventually developing into one of the best floor generals in the association. He made six All-Star appearances and won four championships with San Antonio, carrying the torch as the face of the franchise when Tim Duncan entered the twilight of his career.
Few players have a more impressive resume with the Spurs than Parker, and his countless achievements have earned him basketball immortality. How many late first-rounders gain admission into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame? For that, Parker undoubtedly deserves the first spot on our all-time list of draft-day steals.