Barring a miraculous, empty-tank run into the playoffs, the odds are high that the San Antonio Spurs will be drafting between 10-14 in July's NBA Draft. By season's end, they'll likely be between 9th and 11th in the Western Conference, with a potential play-in tournament not having much bearing on draft positioning.
After finding a gem in Devin Vassell at 11th last year, the 2021 NBA Draft class is deep enough for the Spurs to find another one wherever they select in the first round. One underrated prospect that's been gaining more attention recently is 6-10 center Alperen Sengun out of Turkey. Currently, Tankathon.com has the Spurs selecting him with the 13th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.
For someone who will be turning 19 just four days before the Draft, Sengun has already turned a lot of heads as the star of Besiktas in the Turkish Super League. As typically happens overseas, Sengun got an early start in the sport, playing youth basketball in 2012 until signing professionally in 2018.
Over the years, Sengun has been adding to his repertoire to establish the well-rounded game he's been displaying in the 2020-21 season.
The San Antonio Spurs have a steady defensive piece in Jakob Poeltl as their starting center, but there's a dropoff in quality of available big men after that. With 3-pointers and lighting up scoreboards becoming increasingly important in today's NBA at all positions, Poeltl's offensive deficiency and limited range might be a problem going forward.
The Spurs' front office has no choice but to go after an athletic big or two via the draft, a trade, or free agency. Can Alperen Sengun be an answer to their problems at center?