The 2011 NBA draft is only a few hours away and all of us know as much about the San Antonio Spurs' potential targets today as we did one month ago. Knowing Spurs GM R.C. Buford, he is likely interested in none of the candidates I’ve listed.
Nonetheless, the prospects here are targets that either fill an immediate need or fit the mold of players that San Antonio has targeted in the past.
San Antonio will only draft Singler if he is the best player left on the board. Singler definitely seems to fit the mold of what the Spurs like, though. He is a hard worker, and will be a deadly shooter in a year or two. He has size and is a good rebounder and passer for a SF.
The Spurs have never been scared of drafting seniors and thus have had good success with people that have had long, successful college careers instead of those that are all potential. Singler definitely fits the bill.
I’m going to throw a few names at you—Aaron Afflalo, Jrue Holiday and Russell Westbrook. All of these players looked underwhelming in Ben Howland’s system at UCLA, but went on to have productive NBA careers.
How good will Honeycutt be at the next level? Honeycutt is a very intriguing prospect. He is a great rebounder and good shot-blocker. He has all the tools that the Spurs have coveted in their small forwards—size, length and basketball IQ.
San Antonio has struggled for the last four years adding perimeter players of Honeycutt’s physique. Batum was snatched from underneath its nose three years ago. The Richard Jefferson trade hasn’t quite worked out and Corey Brewer spurned the Spurs for the Mavs earlier in the season. I doubt Honeycutt will be ready to contribute right away, but the Spurs should be patient.
Biyombo’s draft stock has slid a little over the last few days. Now, I highly doubt he falls this far to the Spurs. Nonetheless, this is a prospect they should strongly consider based on potential alone. He's just what the Spurs need: a strong, defensive-minded big man. He also seems to have a great work ethic and is extremely willing to be coached.
The only thing that may scare R.C. Buford away is questions about his real age. His draft profile lists him at age 18, but some scouts believe he may actually be 22 or 23.
Poor decision making, poor coaching and maturity issues have hurt Tyler’s draft stock. Initially, I thought there was no way the Spurs, given the premium they put on character, would even consider drafting Tyler given his historical troubles. However, given the way the season ended, it's becoming more palpable than ever that the frontcourt is in need of some serious help.
No one likely to be available at No. 29 has quite the upside Jeremy Tyler has, and if the Spurs can develop him (a very big "if" indeed), he could be the centerpiece of the youth movement in the post-Duncan era.
If there is one thing Buford loves to do it is draft European players late in the first round. Now, Bertans won’t come in and contribute right away for the Spurs, but he has a skill set that coach Gregg Popovich has seemingly coveted over the last four years. He is a 6'10" forward who can keep opposing defenses honest with his shooting stroke.
This would be a good, solid pick for the Spurs. Thompkins is a big man with the ability to play away from the basket. And we all know how much Gregg Popovich loves big men who can stretch the defense.
Mirotic signed a three-year extension with Real Madrid C.F. If it weren’t for his messy contract situation he would’ve been a lottery pick in this year’s draft, I don't think the Spurs want to go through another long-term waiting situation. After Scola and Splitter, they might just go with someone who will come out now.
The kid is seemingly a smart player, with good size, skills and a high basketball IQ. But, the Spurs front office should be frightened about Vucevic’s lack of athleticism, which is the most glaring need in their frontcourt.
To be honest, I'd rather see Pop take a chance on a more athletic big.
I think he is a sleeper in this draft. He isn't one of those players who has an abundance of athleticism and thus solely relies on that. Instead he takes his limited abilities and hones them. He could be a great fit for the Spurs.
Shumpert really intrigues me. If he were able to develop a semblance of a jump shot, he looks like he could have the size and athleticism to be a good defender. The downside is he would fall into the same category of "tweeners" we have that play the 2 or 3 position, none of which are really big or long enough to be a true 3.