Spurs Draft: Small Forward a Position of Interest

Sean StancillSenior Writer IApril 30, 2009

BOSTON - MARCH 26:  Sam Young #23 of the Pittsburgh Panthers and Derrick Brown #5 of the Xavier Musketeers fight to keep the ball in bounds during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament East Regionals at TD Banknorth Garden on March 26, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

The Spurs were eliminated by the Dallas Mavericks; their age and their experience proved to be their demise. The Spurs have over five players 30 years or older on their roster and their goal is to get younger players.

One of the fastest ways to go younger is through the NBA Draft.

One needed position for the Spurs is the small forward.

All of San Antonio's small forwards that are listed on their roster and that are active participants in Greg Popovich's rotation are over 30 years old, highlighted by the deteriorating Bruce Bowen and the ageless Michael Finley.

Its clear that the Spurs need to get younger and with no picks in the first round (sent to the Thunder) attaining a quality small forward looks to be the most achievable goal come June.

Here are a few prospects that the Spurs should have their eyes on, as they possess the 37th overall pick.

Derrick Brown, 6-7, SF, Xavier

Brown would bring a much needed dimension to the Spurs; he's young, athletic, and can create his own shots. He's very long and can also crash the glass when needed. He's also a good defender and very disciplined on that side of the floor.

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At 6-7, he reminds me of a more aggressive Trevor Ariza type of player, a gifted specimen that can really fuel a team with his tremendous hustle. Yet, he still fits the mold of a team player, so much that he can become excessively passive at times.

Tyler Smith, 6-7, SF, Tennessee

Smith is a versatile play maker and recorded the only triple-double in Volunteers' history in his junior season at Tennessee. He also led his team in scoring and is a solid rebounder and defender for a player his size.

However, he can be a bit streaky from the three-point line and, at times, he needs to control his emotions and display better composure when calls don't go his way. He needs to work on his free-throw shooting and his mechanics from long-range as he tends to kick his right foot forward before he actually releases the shot.

If he can overcome these small strings and have successful workouts in front of NBA, then he could wind up as a steal if he's still around in the second round.

His style of play reminds some of a younger version of Josh Howard and, if so, the Spurs could definitely use another play maker on the floor besides Parker and Ginobili.

Austin Daye, 6-10, SF/PF, Gonzaga

While its unlikely that Daye will still remain in the draft with knowledge that he will land in the second round, in the event that he does, Daye would be able to work wonders for San Antonio.

He's lanky, explosive, a terrific shot-blocker, and has a still developing jump-shot that looks better with each repetition. Daye provides the same skill set as an Anthony Randolph but he has an extra year of experience that has worked in his advantage and has allowed him to focus on key aspects of his game.

If selected by the Spurs, he would be an exploratory compliment to Tim Duncan, whether they move Duncan to center or they elect to play tall-ball with the lineup of Parker, Ginobili, Daye, Duncan, and Bonner. His length also helps him snag rebounds and he's an excellent finisher in transition.

The only true minus on Daye is that he desperately needs to add muscle, but that should come naturally and under the tutelage of Greg Popovich.

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