The Top 3 prospects at every Spurs' NBA Draft spot
By Cal Durrett
25th pick: Nikola Jovic, Kendall Brown, Jaden Hardy
The 25th pick may be the most likely of the Spurs' four selections to be moved but if they decide to keep it, then there should be several worthwhile prospects available. Nikola Jovic would be the ideal choice, given how high his upside is.
Jovic is a 6'10 small forward who's an effective playmaker and an exceptional shooter that can create separation by burying step-backs or spot-up threes with a hand in his face. In theory, he could thrive in the NBA playing either on or off-ball, but a lot will depend on which team ultimately drafts him and how he's used.
Meanwhile, Jaden Hardy and Kendall Brown are two other possibilities for the 25th pick if Jovic is off the board. Brown is a 6'8 small forward with a 6'11 wingspan and awesome leaping ability but would likely toggle between the three and the four in the NBA.
While he has the size of a power forward, he plays much more like a wing despite being a limited 3-point shooter. Brown has decent handles but mainly plays off-ball, where he usually scores by running the floor hard in transition. He's also a skilled cutter who makes defenders pay for ignoring him on the perimeter. Defensively, he has the physical tools to be a very good defender but isn't there just yet.
On the Spurs, his role would probably be that of a switchable power forward who'd play primarily on the wing. Brown could thrive in a role like that and get most of his buckets running the floor, finishing off back-door passes, chilling out in the dunker's spot, or hitting the occasional spot-up three.
As for Hardy, he spent this season playing in the NBA G League, where his scoring ability was on full display with an average of 17.6 points. He's fantastic at attacking the basket and has a killer crossover that allows him to shake his defender, get into the paint, and finish effectively at the rim. Hardy is also a problem in transition, where his speed enables him to get out ahead of the pack and get easy buckets.
He'll have to improve as a shooter after hitting just 26.9% of his threes, but the overall ability is certainly there. Actually, he'd be a reasonable gamble for the Spurs if they believe that they can fix his shooting and utilize his relentless slashing ability.