San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospects: Point Guards
Davion Mitchell: Pass
Davion Mitchell was perhaps the most important player in Baylor's championship run this past year. He won the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year this past season, was a lights-out three-point shooter, and is lightning fast on both ends of the floor. He's a menace and could surely help a team that needs immediate help.
That being said, Mitchell is not the right pick for the Spurs at 12 despite him being mocked consistently high. He'll be turning 23 years old this coming September, which would automatically make him one of the oldest players in the young core. What is far more concerning to me though is Mitchell's shooting. While he was able to hit a staggering 44% of his threes with Baylor last season, he benefitted from being on one of the best-spaced teams in college basketball.
He also only made about 64% of his free throws, which is pitiful for a guard that is supposedly one of the best shooters coming into the draft. These are all huge red flags for me and it would be best for the Spurs to opt for a different player.
Sharife Cooper: Pass
Sharife Cooper was one of the best scorers in all of college basketball this season, and he did it as a freshman. He made the SEC All-Freshman Team, averaging 20.2 points, 8.1 assists, and 4.3 rebounds per game.
His handles and ability to get to the free-throw line are already elite coming into the league and will serve him very well. It also should not go understated how impressive it is for a freshman to record over eight assists per game. If any part of Cooper's game translates to the NBA, I expect for it to be his playmaking on some level.
While these are certainly tempting traits, I think the Spurs ought to pass on him as well. He is only about 6'1" in shoes with a similar wingspan, and he will almost definitely be a negative asset on defense unless he can put on significant weight and become stronger. Given his current stature, though, I also have some concerns about his scoring translating to the NBA. While he's great at getting to the charity stripe, he shot only about 23% from three this past season.
While his free-throw shooting indicates he could improve in this area, given that he'll more than likely be a poor defender and bad shooter, especially in the first few years of his career, he's a pass for me.
Jared Butler: Draft
Jared Butler was Davion Mitchell's partner in crime at Baylor and was debatably even the better player. While I think he (and Mitchell, for that matter) can both be considered combo guards, Butler's ball-handling and playmaking ability give him the ability to play the point with relative ease.
That being said, like Mitchell, Butler is a very good three-point shooter and an abusive on-ball defender. He averaged two steals per game and has the foot speed to keep up with some of the quickest guards in college basketball.
In the case that the Spurs are looking to trade away one of their current guards, I think he could be a great option for the team if they end up acquiring another first-round pick. While he's coming off his third season with Baylor, he'll only just be turning 21 in August which still gives him some of his younger years to work with. He, unlike Mitchell, can also back up his three-point shooting ability with his free-throw shooting, seeing that he shot 78% from the line.
He would immediately be an upgrade for the Spurs on the defensive end coming off the bench, the would space the floor, and he would add more playmaking. Other than perhaps his heart condition, I don't have any major concerns with him. According to the league's doctors, though, he's healthy enough to play in the NBA.
Miles McBride: Draft
Miles "Deuce" McBride may be a bit of an unexpected surprise on this list if you weren't paying much attention to the West Virginia Mountaineers this past season. Like both Mitchell and Butler, McBride is a suffocating on-ball defender with elite lateral quickness.
At West Virginia, McBride ran their offense and was by far their primary playmaker. He led their team in points, assists, and steals per game and was their best three-point shooter. Compared to his freshman season with the team, he improved significantly on nearly every standard metric and was certainly the team's best player.
Toward the beginning of the NCAA season, most of the team's hype came from their backcourt duo of Oscar Tshibwe and Derek Culver, leaving McBride a bit under the radar. Tshibwe left the team only 10 games into their season though (and will play his junior season with the Kentucky Wildcats next year), leaving room for McBride to play a bigger role for the team.
While McBride certainly isn't the strongest or bounciest athlete, his nearly 6'9" wingspan will give him a significant advantage for being only about 6'2" tall. He has significant upside as an outside shooter, 3-level scorer, and defender. If the Spurs acquire a late first-round pick, I would take him in a heartbeat.