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NBA Draft 2011: 5 Things to Know About the San Antonio Spurs

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NBA Draft 2011: 5 Things to Know About the San Antonio Spurs
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The NBA Draft has arrived, the Spurs appear stuck in a fetid mixture of mud and molasses, and Tony Parker's name surfaced in a recent trade rumor that spread like marijuana at a Dave Matthews Band concert.

Put down the joint and keep reading to see one man's take on why Parker will open at least the next four campaigns in silver and black, despite a report from a reputable, well-read hoops scribe that suggests otherwise.

San Antonio owns the 29th and 69th picks and could go a number of routes tonight. Will GM R.C. Buford trade down to avoid the guaranteed money owed to a first-round selection? The financial bottom-line matters in the Alamo City, and it has driven Peter Holt to lead the chorus of vexed owners demanding a new salary structure.

Will Buford trade up, and where will his front office try to steer its ship with a proposed deal? The lottery (not happening), the teens or the early 20s? Mock drafts from around the Web project the Spurs will take everyone from 6'10" center Jeremy Tyler, to 6'10" international project forward Nikola Mirotic, to 6'9" forward Kyle Singler, to 6'8" guard/forward Tyler Honeycutt.

Translation: no one knows, not even Buford. San Antonio's big board will include lots of names and Plan As and Plan Bs. The polarizing figure known as The Jimmer could even fall that far, and the Spurs could do crazier things than take a flier on college basketball's reigning scoring champ. Don't give me that stupefied stare. I wrote that eye-popping statement to emphasize the draft's volatility.

Even if it is impossible to nail down the franchise's strategy, the information on the next five slides should provide some clues.

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