San Antonio Spurs Draft Prospects: Shooting Guards
Jaden Springer: Pass
Much like with some of this list's point guards, some of the shooting guards we'll discuss are definitely considered to be more like combo guards. Jaden Springer certainly qualifies as one of those combo guards, but I think he could have the size and scoring ability in the future to play more of his minutes at the 2 in the NBA.
I like to think of Springer as a smaller Keldon Johnson. He's a very strong athlete for his size and, as a result, is a very good finisher around the rim. He's also a very good defender and is able to take contact in the post without being easily backed down.
While his shooting numbers look promising, particularly at the free-throw line, he shot a very low volume of threes and was often left open on the perimeter. While Springer is quite strong, he lacks enough burst on offense to create space, and doesn't have the craftiness or footwork to compensate at this point. Ultimately, this makes me hesitant about the Spurs selecting him. That being said, I think there are much worse choices the Spurs could make and I would not necessarily be mad at the selection.
Keon Johnson: Draft
Now, let's take a moment to speak on Springer's teammate Keon Johnson. He was one of a few players that were interviewed by the Spurs at the NBA Draft Combine, where he had an extremely impressive performance. He shattered the combine's maximum vertical jump record by recording a 48-inch vertical. As I've had to clarify in the past, that is not a typo-- he actually jumped four feet in the air.
Johnson is actually quite a bit like his teammate, Springer, in that he's a lockdown defender and a great athlete. Unlike Springer, though, Johnson is lightning fast and shows some semblance of an offensive game outside of finishing at the rim. He's comfortable with posting up against weaker players and has a midrange jumper that is very consistent in form.
While I think Springer and Johnson are relatively evenly matched for the time being, I'm more confident in Johnson's game moving forward. He's the better athlete, has the length to be a bit more versatile defensively (both on the perimeter and in the paint), and has shown that he can score after putting the ball on the floor. While he didn't shoot well from three with Tennessee, I expect that to drastically improve in the next few seasons.
James Bouknight: Pass
I recently put out a slightly more in-depth analytical piece on James Bouknight where I went over some of the good things that he could bring to the Spurs. He's a shooting guard that is similarly sized to Derrick White, but that also brings the scoring potential of players like Donovan Mitchell and Zach Lavine.
He was the primary scoring option on last season's UConn squad and was surrounded by a batch of largely mediocre players. Even considering that, though, he did quite well and was able to score 18.7 points per game. I think he may have even had the potential to do even better if it weren't for an elbow injury that required surgery. Other than his scoring, Bouknight is a very good rebounder for his size, bringing in 5.7 per game in his sophomore season.
In the end though, like some others on this list, most of his appeal is in his potential rather than the skill he currently possesses. He'll have to improve his ball-handling and shooting, his rebounding would have to translate, and he'd have to become more consistent on defense for him to have long-term success in the league. For a position that isn't necessarily in need, he would be more of a risk than I'd be comfortable with at the 12th pick.
Nah'Shon Hyland: Draft
Seeing Nah'Shon "Bones" Hyland make it to this list may be a bit of a surprise for some of you considering there are a few others that may deserve a mention here, including Josh Christopher or Quentin Grimes, but I'm a big fan of Hyland's.
Coming into the league, Hyland's build is very reminiscent of Dejounte Murray, being that he's lanky with approximately a 6'10" wingspan. That being said, unlike Murray, Hyland is a great shooter with serious NBA range. Beyond that, out of all guards on this list, he may have the best scoring package of anyone. He's a crafty finisher around the rim, can hit floaters, bank shots, step-backs, pull-up shots from mid-range and three, etc. Name a way to score, and Hyland can probably do it.
He averaged 19.5 points per game last season, and the fact that he was able to score so well while only weighing in at around 175 pounds makes it even more impressive. His defense is nothing to scoff at either though, as he was able to be particularly effective off the ball and recorded 1.9 steals per game.
In the end, he'll still more than likely need to bulk up to remain competitive in the NBA (particularly on defense), but based on his current stock and the scoring he could bring to the team, I would spend a mid to late first-round pick on him without a second thought.