San Antonio Spurs Prospect No. 4: Nerlens Noel
One thing the Spurs have been proving all season long is they desperately need more rim protection. While Jakob Poeltl has blossomed into one of the best defending bigs in the NBA, he can't play 48 minutes. He also rarely can even play his usual minutes due to frequently being whistled for cheap fouls.
Ideally, the Spurs will be drafting an athletic big in the upcoming NBA Draft. Knowing how little playing time rookies get in San Antonio, however, pursuing someone like New York Knicks center Nerlens Noel could be worth a serious look. Noel is an unrestricted free agent this summer and currently making $5 million.
At 6-11, Noel is averaging a career-high 2.2 blocks per game and 3.3 per 36 minutes in New York. Staggering Noel and Poeltl would be the best strategy with such a signing, as they both are limited offensively but capable of stopping the endless drives to the basket the Spurs have been giving up all year.
San Antonio Spurs Prospect No. 3: Khem Birch
If the Spurs want to dig even deeper into the bargain bin for a center, taking a flyer on Khem Birch couldn't hurt. After being waived by the Orlando Magic, Birch was scooped up by the Toronto Raptors for the remainder of the season.
Although he's only played 12 games with Toronto, he already had the two best games of his season with them. In a two-game stretch against Denver and Utah, Birch averaged 18.5 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 5.0 assists.
At 28-years-old, Birch has yet to make a mark in the NBA, but his 6-9 frame and flashes of potential could be worth a look in a system that thrives in developing players. Khem made $4 million this season and will be unrestricted this summer.