While the NBA playoffs roll on, the San Antonio Spurs have been hard at work scouting for next year. With such a wealth of talent in the 2021 NBA Draft class, both the 12th and 41st pick can easily yield guys who can become important pieces in the team's future.
While this would be an ideal draft to trade up for someone potentially franchise-changing, you never know where someone special can fall. After all, this season's MVP, Nikola Jokic was once selected 41st overall.
With the 2021 NBA Draft now one month away, the Spurs have been busy conducting interviews and workouts with potential selections this summer. News4SA's Ty Jager tweeted a convenient list of them Tuesday morning.
Clearly, the Spurs have been scouting for both rounds of the NBA Draft, as the prospects they've contacted range from the top 10 to unlisted in various mocks. If you're like me, you might only be familiar with a handful of the above names.
While I'm certainly not a draft expert, I turned to the sources that know much more about this area than I do to help provide a quick, bite-sized review of each one. Let's jump into the list.
1. Keon Johnson, 6'5 Guard, Tennessee
An athletic slasher and finisher with a relentless motor and defensive effort. NBA Draft expert Ben Bornstein of Project Spurs wrote a full profile highlighting Johnson's abilities and fit in San Antonio.
2. Kai Jones, 6-11 Forward, Texas
A fantastic athlete with sky-high potential on both ends of the floor, highlighted by impressive length and rim-running ability. Our own Damien Bartonek extensively broke down his game and fit with the Spurs previously.
3. Corey Kispert, 6-7 Forward, Gonzaga
Probably the best shooter in the draft class with improving defense, but gives up size at the forward position and doesn't offer much in terms of playmaking. Air Alamo's Ethan Farina discussed the sharpshooter in his "Draft or Pass" article in April.
4. Trey Murphy, 6-9 Guard, Virginia
An athletic guard and incredibly accurate shooter who meets the criteria of 3-and-D, but has a questionable motor and needs to bulk up quickly to boost his poor rebounding. Roberto Araiza featured Murphy in his recent NBA Draft Big Board 2.0.
5. Joe Wieskamp, 6-6 Guard, Iowa
Another excellent shooter and overall offensive player, but slow lateral quickness and questions on defense make him risky unless he's taken late. The Quad-City Times recently wrote about how Wieskamp significantly raised his stock at the NBA Combine.
6. Jordan Hall, 6-8 Forward, Saint Joseph's
Impressive playmaking and ball-handing skills for his size with outside shooting ability, but overall shooting percentage leaves something to be desired. Pounding the Rock's Noah Magaro-George did a video breakdown of Hall recently on his YouTube channel.
7. Austin Reaves, 6-5 Guard, Oklahoma
Versatile guard with a high basketball IQ capable of doing a little bit of everything on the court. ESPN's Jonathan Givony was high on Reaves as a prospect in a March column.
8. LJ Figueroa, 6-6 Guard, Oregon
An efficient scorer who can shoot from the outside and defend, making him yet another potential 3-and-D addition. Sports Illustrated broke down his final season at Oregon and discussed his offseason activity recently.
9. MaCio Teague, 6-4 Guard, Baylor
I turned to Ben Bornstein again for this one, who summed MaCio Teague up like this: "Pretty good shooter and playmaker who's decent at rebounding but has a potentially low ceiling/upside."
10. Yves Pons, 6-6 Guard, Tennessee
A tremendous leaper and power dunker who's shown versatility as a defender and competes hard on the glass.
The Spurs will likely have many more Zoom interviews and workouts with potential future prospects as the NBA Draft gets closer. The 2021 NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, July 29 at 8 p.m. ET, with the first round airing on both ESPN and ABC.