Last month, national media outlets kicked it into high gear with who they think the San Antonio Spurs will draft, among all other teams. Since then, everyone outside of the top pick in the draft has been in a constant shuffle in this deep 2021 NBA Draft class. Guys like Alperen Sengun have risen from late first-round to likely lottery picks, while others have seen their stocks drop.
The Spurs are in a rare position to make several moves on draft day and beyond this summer as one of the teams with the most available cap space in the league. Whether they'll make any trades for more 2021 draft picks or future assets remains to be seen, but regardless, they'll likely be making at least two selections on July 29th.
Since it's been nearly one month since my initial round-up of media mock drafts, it's about time we revisit what outlets are saying about the Spurs and who might best fit their system. Let's get started with Zach Harper at the Athletic:
The Athletic: Jalen Johnson, F, Duke
Mock Date: 7/16
Previously mocked: Jalen Johnson on 7/9, Kai Jones on 6/23
The Athletic's early mock draft had UT's Kai Jones headed to San Antonio, comparing him to a Mo Bamba type who could give the team the athletic big they desperately need. Since then, they've pivoted to Duke's Jalen Johnson in consecutive mock drafts.
In his assessment, Harper refers to Johnson's all-around game as his biggest upside but talks about his issues with his shooting mechanics. With a shooting coach like Chip Engelland, the "match made in Heaven" temptation was too much to pass up.
"He would be a great eventual replacement for Rudy Gay," said Harper. It's hard to argue with that.
ESPN's Jonathan Givony also mocked Jalen Johnson to the San Antonio Spurs (subscription required) on June 29th.