If things stay as expected, the San Antonio Spurs will once again be selecting a lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. At least one senior writer at The Athletic believes they could use that to lock down another athletic shooting guard with notable defensive instincts.
Through 20 games played, the Spurs have the sixth-worst record in the league at 7-13 despite winning their last three. That record gives them a 37.2% chance of landing a top-four pick and a 9% chance to claim number one overall, according to Tankathon.com.
While San Antonio's wing positions are becoming increasingly fused together, their officially listed shooting guards boast a lot of talent:
Beyond them, the Spurs have other interchangeable guys like Devin Vassell and Keita Bates-Diop who could slide over to that position. It's clear they have this area of the floor covered, but there's a decent possibility both Walker and Forbes aren't on the roster next season. That could open up a spot for a rising Purdue guard.
The Athletic mocks Purdue Boilermakers guard Jaden Ivey to the San Antonio Spurs
In his recent NBA mock draft (subscription required), Sam Vecenie has the San Antonio Spurs selecting Jaden Ivey out of Purdue with the 5th overall pick. Moving Ivey up from his previous spot of number nine, Vecenie cites his impressive performance at the Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament as the main reason.
"He can play any style of game effectively," says Vecenie. "Right now, he's my pick for the best guard in the draft."
Jaden Ivey is a 6-4, 195-pound guard averaging 15.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.6 assists, and 1.5 steals for an 8-0 Purdue team this season. Like many successful past and present Spurs, he has long arms and is quick with his hands, making him an intriguing defender.
Ivey also has an NBA body and athleticism to make him a two-way threat on the floor.
Would the San Antonio Spurs take another guard in 2022?
In looking at the roster as constructed, big man depth is the number one issue on the Spurs currently. Much of that is due to the presence of Thaddeus Young, though, who many expect to be traded sooner than later given San Antonio's current timeline.
Ideally, I'd like for the Spurs to give Jock Landale a chance at the backup center spot while looking to fill the backup power forward position with Zach Collins. I think there's enough there for San Antonio to gamble on taking another guard if he's as explosive as Ivey.
It's too early to tell what position the Spurs might be looking to fill next year yet, as the matter of whether they re-sign Lonnie Walker and for how much will have a domino effect on their entire offseason.
If Ivey is available after the bigger names like Paolo Banchero, Chet Holmgren, and Jabari Smith are taken, he could warrant a serious look from the Silver and Black.