The San Antonio Spurs have built a well-earned reputation for drafting. In fact, they drafted three of their starters from last season with the 29th overall pick, showing they can find talent no matter where they are selecting.
Considering San Antonio is entering what’s likely a rebuild, that skill will definitely come in handy going forward, especially if they draft in the lottery for the next few seasons. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the team's most recent first-round draft picks dating back to 2015 and see how they stand up when regraded (excluding Joshua Primo).
San Antonio Spurs 2015 NBA Draft - Nikola Mulitinov
The Spurs selected center Nikola Milutinov 26th overall in the 2015 NBA Draft. While Milutinov seemed like a solid pick at the time, it appears he was partly selected because he was willing to stay overseas. By stashing their selection, San Antonio believed they would have enough to sign LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency.
However, the cap increased more than expected, meaning they could've afforded to draft and sign their pick in addition to signing Aldridge. Had San Antonio not gone this route, they could have selected Larry Nance Jr., Montrezl Harrell, or Josh Richardson, all of whom were selected after Milutinov.
Instead, six seasons after being drafted, Milutinov's draft rights were traded to Brooklyn without him ever playing for San Antonio. While the Spurs attempted to bring him over in seasons past, it appears negotiations were complicated by Milutinov no longer being bound by his rookie scale contract.
As a result, he likely asked for significantly more than what most rotation centers get and more than San Antonio was willing to pay. Ultimately, the decision to draft him was a poor one considering there were better players taken later.