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Grading Each San Antonio Spurs Draft Pick Since Tim Duncan

Jared JohnsonFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 14, 2017

Grading Each San Antonio Spurs Draft Pick Since Tim Duncan

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    The San Antonio Spurs got lucky in 1997, earning the No. 1 pick in the NBA draft despite having the third-worst record in the league. They drafted Tim Duncan, a star center from Wake Forest.

    And as they say, the rest is history.

    Thanks to their consistent superstar, the Spurs haven't had a single draft spot higher than No. 20 since then. Even so, they have developed a reputation as one of the top drafting teams in the NBA. Drafting outside the lottery can sometimes be a shot in the dark, but the Spurs have made a science of it.

    Let's look at all 34 players the Spurs have picked in the NBA draft since Duncan and see how each pick grades on a traditional A-to-F scale. 

    Higher picks will obviously be graded more strictly. Also, if a considerable amount of more talented players were available at the time of the pick, the grade will be lower. 

    No player will be given an "incomplete."

    For clarification, rookies whom the Spurs may have acquired on draft night by trading a player already on their roster to another team (I'm looking at you, Kawhi Leonard) are not considered because they were not officially drafted by the team and weren't acquired via a draft pick of the same year. 

    However, if the Spurs picked a player and traded him on draft night or later that summer, the haul that the Spurs got in return will be taken into account in the pick's grade. If the player was still with the Spurs at the start of the preseason, the pick's grade will be based upon him.

    I know it's complicated, but just stay with me.

    And in case you were wondering, Leonard would have been an A+.

    Note: All statistics and transaction information is from Basketball Reference, unless otherwise indicated.

1998: Round 1, Pick 24: Felipe Lopez, SG

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    The Spurs apparently didn't like Lopez much at No. 24, because they traded him on draft night with ineffective Carl Herrera to the Vancouver Grizzlies for young combo guard Antonio Daniels.

    Daniels was a valuable contributor off the bench for the Spurs for four seasons, including their 1998-99 championship team. He posted 9.4 points per game and 3.8 assists per game with a 15.5 player efficiency rating in 2000-01, his best season with the Spurs.

    A former Gatorade National Player of the Year in high school, Lopez's career high for PER in a season was 12.5, and he retired from the league at age 27.

    Unfortunately for the Spurs, there was value to be had after the No. 24 pick, too. Al Harrington, Rashard Lewis, Cuttino Mobley and Brad Miller were all available at the time.

    But for acquiring a solid player like Antonio Daniels with this pick, the Spurs get a solid grade.

    Grade: B

1998: Round 2, Pick 23: Derrick Dial, SG

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    Best season with Spurs (2000-01): 6.3 minutes per game, 2.6 points per game, 1.2 rebounds per game, 0.6 assists per game, 0.2 blocks per game, 0.1 steals per game, 14.3 PER.

    Derrick Dial played a total of 41 games with the Spurs in his career.

    In those games, he accumulated 0.5 total win shares. So basically, he won half a game for the Spurs during his time in San Antonio. 

    For a player drafted six spots from the last pick in the draft, you can't expect much more. 

    Grade: C

1999: Round 1, Pick 29: Leon Smith, PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Like Felipe Lopez, the Spurs didn't see much in Leon Smith, because they traded him on draft night to the Dallas Mavericks for Gordon Giricek and a second-round pick in 2000. 

    Giricek became a dependable three-point sniper with other teams in the NBA but never played for the Spurs. He was even traded for another player who never played for the team.

    That 2000 second-round pick also never suited up for the team, but we'll get to him later.

    Smith never went on to do much at all in the NBA, mainly due to psychiatric problems related to the neglect he tragically had to endure as a child

    The Spurs got no production from this pick, which is unacceptable for a first-rounder. 

    Grade: F

1999: Round 2, Pick 28: Manu Ginobili, SG

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    Best season with Spurs (2007-08): 31.1 minutes per game, 19.5 points per game, 4.8 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game, 0.4 blocks, 1.5 steals, 24.3 PER.

    I'm guessing that most fans watching the 1999 NBA draft on television were half-asleep by the time the No. 57 pick came around.

    Little did they know that a future All-Star and NBA champion was being selected.

    Manu Ginobili didn't make it to the league until 2002, but once he came, he left his mark in a big way. By his third year, he was starting every game for the Spurs and was an All-Star reserve. That same year (2005), the Spurs won the championship, and Ginobili led the team in win shares (4.2) during that playoff run.

    The most spectacular statistic about Ginobili? He ranks No. 13 in NBA history in the all-encompassing win shares per 48 minutes stat (0.211), ahead of legends like Shaquille O'Neal, Larry Bird, Bill Russell and John Stockton. 

    All this for a guy selected after Venson Hamilton, Roberto Bergersen and Kris Clack. Go figure.

    Grade: A+

2000: Round 2, Pick 12: Chris Carrawell, SF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    This was the pick that San Antonio acquired in the Leon Smith trade. 

    Chris Carrawell was a first-team All-American with Duke as a senior but never panned out in the NBA. He was a versatile 6'6" forward who could do everything well but didn't have a specific skill that stood out in the NBA. He was also a little small to play forward in the pros.

    He played one season in the D-League and then gave up on his NBA dream.

    The lack of overall talent in the 2000 draft keeps Carrawell's grade from being too low, although Michael Redd and Brian Cardinal were available at this spot.

    Grade: C-

2000: Round 2, Pick 25: Cory Hightower, SG/SF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    The second second-rounder by the Spurs also did not play a single minute in the NBA.

    Hightower was traded on draft night to the Los Angeles Lakers for two second-round picks, neither of whom made an impact in the NBA. 

    The legend of Cory Hightower is that he once refused to carry Kobe Bryant's bags, although Hightower denies it, according to the Flintstones sports and entertainment blog. Hightower had undeniable raw talent, but he was known as a head case," which was why he was selected so late in the draft. 

    Not much is expected this low anyway.

    Grade: C-

2001: Round 1, Pick 28: Tony Parker, PG

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    Best season with Spurs (2012-13): 32.9 minutes per game, 20.3 points per game, 3.0 rebounds per game, 7.6 assists per game, 0.1 blocks per game, 0.8 steals per game, 23.0 PER.

    We return to the good draft picks here with a bang.

    Tony Parker came into the league in 2001 without high expectations, joining a platoon at point guard with Terry Porter and Antonio Daniels.

    Head coach Gregg Popovich quickly saw the 19-year-old Parker's potential and gave him the starting nod over the two veterans. Early in Parker's career, Popovich made the youngster work hard and even threatened him in a strange way, according to The Basketball Jones blog.

    But it made him better.

    Now, Parker is an All-Star and All-NBA guard who has spent the last 12 years honing his game for the Spurs.

    A pretty good pick, to say the least.

    Grade: A+

2001: Round 2, Pick 27: Robertas Javtokas, C

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Robertas Javtokas was an athletic freak back in the day.

    The 6'11", 270-pound Lithuanian center could do things like dunk on a 12-foot rim, and he was a muscular bully who had few weaknesses in his game. He averaged just under nine points per game for the 2004 Lithuanian Olympic team that placed fourth place. 

    Unfortunately, the Spurs could never lure him away from the Lithuanian League or Euroleague, and he remains in Europe at age 33.

    Not much value remained this late in the 2001 draft, however, which helps the grade.

    Grade: C

2001: Round 2, Pick 29: Bryan Bracey, SF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Like Javtokas two picks before him, Bryan Bracey never played in the NBA. Unlike Javtokas, though, he did get a shot in the NBDL before turning to Europe to carve out a career.

    He played two years at Oregon before declaring for the draft and placed second in the Pac-10 in scoring at 18.6 points per game during his sophomore year. He was also a heck of a rebounder at small forward, nabbing 7.1 rebounds in the same year.

    Grade: C

2002: Round 1, Pick 26: John Salmons, SG

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    John Salmons was traded to the Philadelphia 76ers on draft night, so the haul that the Spurs got for him will be graded here.

    Along with Mark Bryant and Randy Holcomb (both non-factors), Salmons was traded for Speedy Claxton, a defensive-minded point guard who had some nice games in the Spurs' 2003 championship run. Claxton left for free agency after one season.

    However, we will never know what Salmons would have been able to do with the Spurs. In his prime, he was a crafty scorer despite his athletic limitations. He scored 18.3 points per game during the 2008-09 season. 

    Grade: C-

2002: Round 2, Pick 27: Luis Scola, PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    This is a tough pick to grade. On one hand, the Spurs did draft an excellent player late in the draft and kept him for five years.

    The Spurs tried to buy Scola out of his Euroleague contract in 2005, but the price was too much for them, according to Draft Express. They ended up having to trade him to the Houston Rockets in 2007 with Jackie Butler for a Greek point guard who was a big-time bust (Vassilis Spanoulis) and a 2009 second-round pick. 

    That 2009 second-round pick (Nando de Colo) is now a decent player for the Spurs, but Scola was definitely the one that got away. 

    Grade: D+

2002: Round 2, Pick 28: Randy Holcomb, SF/PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Randy Holcomb was a part of the John Salmons trade that sent Speedy Claxton to the Spurs. 

    A San Diego State product, Holcomb bounced around the world playing professional ball and even ended up a star for the Libyan national team. Read about that interesting story in this article from the San Diego Union-Tribune.

    Holcomb only played in four NBA games, all for the Chicago Bulls

    Not much value is usually found this low in the draft, but Reggie Evans and Udonis Haslem were still available at the time.

    Grade: C-

2003: Round 1, Pick 28: Leandro Barbosa, SG

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Leandro Barbosa is yet another quality NBA player who never played a minute for the Spurs. The Spurs traded him on draft night for the Phoenix Suns' 2005 first-round pick, which eventually went to the Knicks and became David Lee

    The package that the Spurs got in return for that first-round pick was headlined by Nazr Mohammed. Mohammed was big in the 2005 and 2006 postseason, playing a combined 622 minutes in those playoffs. He and Tim Duncan made for a formidable post-defending duo. 

    But it won't quite make up for missing out on Barbosa's services and the opportunity to get Lee. 

    Grade: C

2004: Round 1, Pick 28: Beno Udrih, PG

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    Best season with Spurs (2004-05): 14.4 minutes per game, 5.9 points per game, 1.0 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, 0.1 blocks per game, 0.5 steals per game, 14.3 PER.

    Udrih was one of the few Spurs draft picks from this era that actually played for the team. In his rookie year, the 22-year-old from Slovenia was a reliable backup point guard for Tony Parker. 

    Not many rookies get to be a part of the rotation on a championship-winning team, but Udrih earned his spot. 

    After leaving the Spurs in 2007, he has developed into a heady, veteran point guard capable of averaging 10 points and five assists per game when given decent minutes.

    Aside from Anderson Varejao, there weren't any better players for the Spurs to pursue with this pick.

    Grade: B+

2004: Round 2, Pick 23: Romain Sato, SG/SF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Romain Sato, like romaine lettuce, never played a minute for the Spurs. (Sorry, had to do it.)

    According to ESPN, Sato was born in the Central African Republic. He played ball for Xavier University and reached a career high of 18.1 points per game in his junior season. 

    Euroleague.net reports that Sato has played in several countries around Europe, most recently with Fenerbahce Ulker Istanbul. 

    He did play in a preseason game for Fenerbahce Ulker last fall against the Philadelphia 76ers, scoring 24 points.

    Only two players drafted after Sato played in the NBA, and both of them (Matt Freije and Luis Flores) had negative win shares, so I can't grade this pick too harshly.

    Grade: C+

2004: Round 2, Pick 28: Sergei Karaulov, C

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Sergei Karaulov had an NBA body at 6'10" and 254 pounds. 

    Unfortunately, that was about all he had going for him. He hasn't succeeded overseas or stateside since being drafted.

    According to Real GM Basketball, he averaged 1.2 points per game over two years on the Spurs summer league team. Unlike Sato, who actually had some skills, Karaulov was a pure project who didn't have anywhere near the skill set to succeed in the NBA. 

    Grade: D+

2005: Round 1, Pick 28: Ian Mahinmi, C

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    Best season with Spurs (2009-10): 6.3 minutes per game. 3.9 points per game, 2.0 rebounds per game. 0.1 assists per game, 0.3 blocks per game, 0.1 steals per game, 21.6 PER.

    The Spurs just whiffed on this first-round pick.

    With their tendency to scout internationally, you would think they would have done their homework on Mahinmi. Unfortunately for the Spurs, he was an athletic, mobile big man who didn't have the technique of the game down. In his best season with the Spurs, he averaged 7.0 fouls per 36 minutes.

    In sparse minutes, he showed a lot of potential but never improved much for the Spurs. When he left for Dallas (and now Indiana), his minutes increased, but his efficiency dropped off a cliff.

    This is all the more frustrating for the Spurs when you realize that fellow big men David Lee, Brandon Bass, Ersan Ilyasova, Andray Blatche, Amir Johnson and Marcin Gortat were all available at the time of Mahinmi's drafting. 

    Grade: D

2006: Round 2, Pick 29: Damir Markota, PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Damir Markota getting drafted was a product of the Dirk Nowitzki craze. In this era, European big men who could shoot were automatically pegged as good prospects because of Nowitzki's success. 

    Unfortunately for Markota, he didn't have the length or the ability to create his own shot. 

    Markota was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks on draft night for a second-round pick in 2007. We'll get to that pick soon, but the trade was a wash, as neither player had any success in the league.

    Grade: C

2007: Round 1, Pick 28: Tiago Splitter, PF/C

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    Best season with Spurs (2012-13): 24.7 minutes per game, 10.3 points, 6.4 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 0.8 blocks, 0.8 steals, 18.7 PER.

    The Spurs learned their lesson with Ian Mahinmi and drafted a more polished big man with their late first-round pick in 2007.

    So far, it's been a smashing success. 

    Splitter played three seasons in Europe for further seasoning before coming to the states in 2010. During that time, he established himself as a top international player. According to the Spurs' official website, he was both the regular season and Finals MVP of the Spanish League.

    Although he isn't a star, Splitter has been valuable for the Spurs, both as a defender next to Tim Duncan and finisher in the pick-and-roll. Interestingly enough, he actually ranks No. 2 among 2007 draftees in win shares per 48 minutes (0.188), behind only Kevin Durant (0.189). 

    First-round picks are usually expected to be more immediate contributors, but Splitter took three years to come over from Europe, at the age of 25. 

    That's the only factor that knocks this grade down a bit.

    Grade: A-

2007: Round 2, Pick 3: Marcus Williams, SF

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    Best season with Spurs (2008-09): 1.5 minutes per game, 2.0 points per game, 0.0 rebounds per game, 0.0 assists per game, 0.0 blocks per game, 0.0 steals per game, 53.0 PER.

    Marcus Williams is the pick that the Spurs acquired from the Bucks for Damir Markota.

    Without question, Williams is the worst player in NBA history to register a 53.0 PER for a season. For a reference point, the season record for qualified players is 31.82, set by Wilt Chamberlain in 1962-63.

    Considering Williams only played five minutes for the Spurs in his career, it's safe to say that this pick wasn't quite as successful as the one five slots before.

    His game transferred quite nicely to the D-League, though, where he averaged 21.6 points per game for his career. His NBA career ended in 2010. 

    Marc Gasol would've been a fantastic pick here, but hindsight is 20/20.

    Grade: D+

2007: Round 2, Pick 28: Giorgos Printezis, PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    Giorgos Printezis follows in the illustrious line of draft-day "tradees" by the Spurs. 

    The Greek power forward was drafted by the Spurs and immediately traded to the Toronto Raptors for their second-round pick in the following year's draft. That pick became Goran Dragic, who was traded for a pick that became DeJuan Blair in 2009. 

    Basically, what we are grading here is how good the move that ultimately flipped Printezis for Blair was. 

    Printezis didn't play a single game in the NBA, while Blair became a solid role player for the Spurs.

    Grade: A

2008: Round 1, Pick 26: George Hill, PG/SG

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    Best season with Spurs (2009-10): 29.2 minutes per game, 12.4 points per game, 2.6 rebounds per game, 2.9 assists per game, 0.3 blocks per game, 0.9 steals per game, 14.7 PER.

    George Hill was a relatively unknown player out of IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) before the Spurs picked him.

    The pick was criticized by some, including Chad Ford from ESPN. Ford said the following in his 2008 NBA Draft grades:

    "But sometimes a team can be too clever for its own good. Hill is a nice player, but I don't believe he's a better point guard than Mario Chalmers."

    The joke was on Ford, because Hill has been a considerably better player than Chalmers in the NBA.

    Hill's 6'2" size isn't ideal for the combo guard position, but he has made up for it with his great athleticism, length and scoring instincts during his three years in San Antonio.

    No players drafted below Hill have more win shares than he does, so this was a very good pick. 

    Grade: A-

2008: Round 2, Pick 15: Goran Dragic, PG

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Goran Dragic was traded two days after the draft to the Phoenix Suns for Malik Hairston, a 2009 second-round pick who became DeJuan Blair and cash. 

    Dragic has established himself as an unselfish, offensively skilled starting point guard for the Phoenix Suns. 

    Meanwhile, Hairston was a garbage-time player for the Spurs for two years, and Blair was a valuable role player for four seasons. 

    Not quite a fair trade, but Dragic would have had a hard time finding minutes on the Spurs anyway with a star at point guard.

    Grade: C+

2008: Round 2, Pick 27: James Gist, SF/PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    James Gist was an athletic specimen during his four-year college career at Maryland—a 6'9", 235-pound power forward who could run and leap like a shooting guard. 

    The problem was his ball skills, according to DraftExpress

    Gist’s ball handling and passing skills are also poor for a player hoping to transition to a combo forward. He looks uncomfortable when putting the ball on the floor more then two ore three times in a straight line, lacking much creativity off the bounce.

    Ultimately, that lack of ball skills did him in, and he never played an NBA game.

    Grade: C-

2009: Round 2, Pick 7: DeJuan Blair,

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    Best season with Spurs (2011-12): 21.3 minutes per game, 9.5 points per game, 5.5 rebounds, 1.2 assists per game, 0.2 blocks per game, 0.9 steals, 17.6 PER.

    DeJuan Blair was one of the more notable draft-day falls in the past several years.

    According to DraftExpress, he was expected by many to be a lottery pick leading up to the draft. However, concerns about his surgically repaired knees were apparently too much for many teams. 

    He fell right into the Spurs' lap at the No. 37 pick, and he contributed for the team immediately. In fact, he played in all 82 regular-season games of his rookie season despite being a second-round pick.

    Blair's playing time stagnated toward the end of his Spurs tenure, but, like George Hill, he still has more win shares than any player drafted after him.

    Grade: A

2009: Round 2, Pick 21: Jack McClinton, SG

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    Best season with Spurs: Did not play for the Spurs.

    In my opinion, Jack McClinton's NBA career was doomed right from the start. As he measured just 6'0.75" in shoes, people were expecting him to play shooting guard in the NBA. 

    The experiment might have been more successful if McClinton had been athletic or had some elite skill besides shooting, but he didn't. 

    According to the Reno Bighorns' official website, McClinton scored two points in three games as a Bighorn last season. That is the last we have heard of him professionally.

    Interestingly enough, future Spur (and fellow undersized guard) Patty Mills was picked just four picks after McClinton. 

    Grade: C-

2009: Round 2, Pick 23: Nando De Colo, PG/SG

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    Best season with Spurs (2012-13): 12.8 minutes per game, 3.8 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, 0.1 blocks per game, 0.6 steals per game, 11.1 PER.

    It's not super common for players drafted with the No. 53 pick in the NBA draft to play in an NBA game, but Nando de Colo has. 

    After three years, De Colo finally came over from Valencia of the Spanish League, according to the Spurs' official website.

    While De Colo didn't set the world on fire, he showed the potential to become a great playmaker off the bench in his rookie year. Gregg Popovich even dubbed him "Mini-Manu," according to the Spurs Nation blog.

    De Colo isn't quite that good, but he has shown that he is better than his draft position.

    Grade: A-

2010: Round 1, Pick 20: James Anderson, SG

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    Best season with Spurs (2011-12): 11.8 minutes per game, 3.7 points per game, 1.5 rebounds per game, 0.8 assists per game, 0.0 blocks per game, 0.2 steals per game, 8.8 PER.

    The highest draft pick since Tim Duncan was cause for great excitement, and many were certain that James Anderson was going to be a great pick for the Spurs in 2010. NBADraft.net labeled him "a young, albeit less explosive, Michael Finley." 

    Turns out, he wasn't.

    Anderson didn't possess the necessary ball-handling skills to break into Gregg Popovich's rotation, and he didn't look natural when he dribbled the ball. His shooting was also inconsistent, although his effort on the defensive end was adequate.

    This pick doesn't quite deserve an "F," because there wasn't much depth in this draft class.

    Still, the Spurs could've done better than Anderson. 

    Grade: D

2010: Round 2, Pick 19: Ryan Richards, PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Ryan Richards still has some time to get his game together. 

    He's only 22 and has shown some promise in the Spurs' summer league, especially this year. In this particular game against the Milwaukee Bucks, he demonstrated what he can offer when given adequate minutes.

    He looks comfortable dribbling and shooting the ball with his sweet lefty stroke. Unfortunately, his defense is still a work in progress, as Project Spurs points out. 

    The same article from Project Spurs expects him to come to the Spurs eventually, just not yet. There's a good chance that he can develop into a nice finesse big man off the bench in the future.

    Grade: B-

2011: Round 1, Pick 29: Cory Joseph, PG

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    Best season with Spurs (2012-13): 13.9 minutes per game, 4.5 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game, 1.9 assists per game, 0.1 blocks per game, 0.5 steals per game, 13.5 PER.

    This pick initially took a lot of criticism, as Cory Joseph was deemed not NBA ready, per NBADraft.net. The Texas Longhorn averaged only 10.4 points per game and 3.0 assists per game in his one season in Austin.

    Joseph's detractors were sitting pretty after his rookie year with the Spurs, when he accumulated a 6.9 PER in just 9.2 minutes of action. 

    After his second season, Joseph now looks like a good backup point guard with the potential to be even more in the future.

    He isn't a playmaker, but he doesn't turn the ball over much either (1.9 turnovers per 36 minutes). His strengths lie in his defensive activity and ability to move without the ball, both of which fit well in the Spurs system.

    Jimmy Butler, Chandler Parsons and Isaiah Thomas were all options at this pick, however. 

    Grade: B

2011: Round 2, Pick 29: Adam Hanga, SG

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Adam Hanga has not yet played for the Spurs, but that is par for the course for the Spurs' international draft picks just two years removed from being drafted.

    According to Project Spurs, Hanga made some exciting improvement in the Spanish ACB League, where Tiago Splitter also played.

    The 6'7" shooting guard from Hungary is a versatile, athletic player with potential to be an NBA role player, provided the Spurs can negotiate a buyout with his new club, Saski Baskonia.

    Grade: B

2012: Round 2, Pick 29: Marcus Denmon, PG/SG

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Marcus Denmon was a dead-eye three-point shooter at the college level for Missouri.

    In his last three college seasons, he nailed at least 40 percent of his three-point attempts, an excellent amount.

    Unfortunately, he struggles to do much else. In his five games at the NBA Summer League this summer, he averaged 10.8 points on 10.4 shots per game while shooting an overall 38.5 percent from the field, per NBA.com. He didn't show enough to warrant consideration for a roster spot.

    Thankfully, the expectations for No. 59 picks aren't too high, and it's no big deal for the Spurs if he never plays a minute in the NBA.  

    Grade: C

2013: Round 1, Pick 28: Livio Jean-Charles, SF/PF

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Livio Jean-Charles was the perfect draft pick for the Spurs this year. In fact, I outlined this in an article earlier this summer before the Spurs drafted him.

    Unfortunately, he suffered a right knee sprain in a FIBA U-20 game against the Czech Republic and will be out six months, according to Project Spurs.

    The good news is it's just a sprain and not a tear, so it shouldn't affect his athleticism too much going forward.

    The reasons for this grade not being a full-on "A" are because of the injury and that we haven't seen him play any basketball in an NBA-like setting yet.

    Grade: A-

2013: Round 2, Pick 28: Deshaun Thomas, SF

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    Best season with Spurs: Has not played for the Spurs.

    Deshaun Thomas had a better college career than almost every player selected ahead of him in the 2013 NBA draft.

    However, concerns about his size and athleticism kept cropping up before the draft. Most NBA scouts didn't see Thomas having a future as a good player in the NBA and were looking at players with more upside as possible second-round picks.

    While it's true that he probably won't be an above-average player in the NBA, he can be serviceable as a scorer off the bench. 

    The Spurs' beat writer for the San Antonio Express News, Jeff McDonald, said the following about Thomas on Twitter while watching the Spurs play in the NBA Summer League: "Every second of summer league that goes on, though, I talk myself into Deshaun Thomas a little more. He's playing well."

    Grade: B+

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