NBA Draft 2010: San Antonio Spurs Top Seven Draft Day Options
The San Antonio Spurs have been a dominant fixture in NBA Championship discussions for the past decade.
But they are getting old, and the time is ripe for them to start a youth movement.
Rumors have started regarding the Spurs trading Tony Parker. They are also rumored to be bringing Tiago Splitter over from Europe to fill the void at the five.
The Spurs will be picking 20th in the NBA Draft (and 49th overall in the second round). It is not a prime position to be picking in, but it is a deep draft and the Spurs always seem to make a wise selection on draft day.
The Spurs have pieces to move and can definitely get right back in the title mix with the right moves this offseason.
Here are the top seven options for the Spurs on Draft Day.
7. Trade Down
The Spurs have been known to stockpile picks and players overseas, so trading down is always an option.
This is a pretty deep draft, and the Spurs could afford to go for quantity over quality here.
I also have a feeling that the Spurs have some foreign prospects in mind that may slip under the radar. That is their MO after all.
A few foreign prospects that have been mentioned at the end of the first round are Tibor Pleiss (7'0", Germany), Kevin Seraphin, (pictured, 6'10", France) and Ryan Richards (7'0", England). Of course, they may also have some under-the-radar collegiate prospects in mind.
When it comes to the Spurs, I would never rule out trading down.
6. Trade Up
The Spurs are rumored to have interest in a few prospects that might not be there at No. 20.
They have a need for a big man and have their eyes on Solomon Alabi (pictured) of Florida State.
Even though Splitter is rumored to be coming over to the NBA, the Spurs may still be leaning toward a big man. You can never have enough players up front. But a few mock drafts have the Thunder strongly considering taking Alabi at No. 18.
The Spurs are also rumored to want Eric Bledsoe (Kentucky), who would be a logical replacement if the Spurs decide to ship out Tony Parker. Bledsoe could go into the lottery, so the Spurs would have to give up a little bit to get him.
And those are only the guys that people are talking about, which probably means there is somebody else San Antonio is targeting.
5. Trade for a Star
The Spurs have pieces to move and could make a big splash on draft night or in free agency.
The biggest piece is obviously Tony Parker. I don't know if I totally buy the Spurs moving Parker, but he does only have one year left on his contract.
The biggest name that involves a Parker trade is Chris Paul. In that case, I would understand getting rid of Parker.
The Spurs also could move Richard Jefferson.
He didn't have a good season last year, as he was never able to really fit in with the Spurs. But the Spurs could definitely sell Jefferson's past success to a team looking for an athletic wingman.
The Spurs would probably look to move Jefferson for a player capable of providing low-post assistance to Tim Duncan. Possibilities may include Al Jefferson of the Timberwolves or maybe swinging a blockbuster deal for a marquee free agent, such as Amar'e Stoudemire or Chris Bosh.
These may seem like implausible scenarios, but you never know. I wouldn't count out the Spurs making a drastic move in an effort to vault themselves back into title contention.
4. Second Round Options (49th Overall Selection)
This is the Spurs' calling card: second round, European steal. I would expect it to happen again this season.
There are a few players that could be available around the 49th pick that the Spurs would snap up.
Miroslav Raduljica, a center out of Serbia, had a good season last year and is prime to be stashed in Europe.
Thomas Heurtel (pictured), a point guard out of France, won the MVP at the Adidas Eurocamp. He would probably be stashed overseas, but he could be the future if the Spurs do decide to part with Parker.
Alexey Shved, a Russian combo guard, is slated to be the Spurs' second round pick if you go by ESPN's mock draft.
These are just a few possibilities that the Spurs could look at, if they do in fact decide to go their usual European stash route.
3. 20th pick, Option 3 -- Jordan Crawford, Xavier
Crawford (6'4", 198) is rumored to have strong interest from the Spurs.
The Spurs are reportedly leaning toward a big man, but don't count this one out, especially if they ship out Jefferson.
Crawford is very athletic and has great range. He seems like he would be a much better fit in the Spurs system than Jefferson.
You may remember Crawford's strong performance against Kansas State in the NCAA Tournament (the double-overtime game).
Or you may remember him as the guy who dunked on LeBron James. Whoever he may be to you, he may soon be known as the next Spur.
The Spurs are also rumored to have interest in Devin Ebanks of West Virginia if they don't go for big man.
2. 20th pick, Option 2 -- Larry Sanders, VCU
Sanders (6'11", 222) has enormous upside.
He has long arms and can run the floor well. He is being pegged for the Spurs in a few mock drafts, and I wouldn't be surprised if he is the guy.
Sanders has strong defensive skills and would be a great complement inside with Tim Duncan.
The Spurs' calling card has always been defense, so I wouldn't count out Sanders here. He and Duncan could be a formidable version of the next Two Towers in San Antonio, at least on the defensive end.
1. 20th Pick, Option 1 -- Craig Brackins, Iowa State
Sanders would be a great fit in San Antonio, but Brackins (6'10", 229) has more of the complete package that fits into the Spurs' system.
Brackins is a very versatile offensive prospect. He can play inside, or go out and hit the three. He is also an exceptional athlete.
His versatility would fit well in San Antonio and he could learn to expand his repertoire under Duncan and take over in a few years.
The only downside is that he is said to not be a strong defender. That wouldn't fit well in San Antonio, but I have a feeling that learning from Duncan will motivate him quickly.