Undrafted Free Agents Who Would Be Steals for San Antonio Spurs
A great fit for the Spurs system, he has the opportunity to take his game to the next level in an atmosphere that will nurture his strengths and incorporate them into a championship-caliber offense.
However, many were not as fortunate as Anderson. With more than 60 individuals having declared for the draft, many of them never received the anticipated call.
Still, that hardly signifies the concrete end to these players' NBA careers. With a summer to prove themselves, a handful could find their way onto rosters at some point down the road.
San Antonio, which turns undrafted players into legitimate contributors—Gary Neal, for example—remains an ideal spot for free agents, especially prospects who are looking for an environment that will help them grow.
While the Spurs don't have many pressing needs or open roster spots, if the opportunity presents itself, it would hardly be uncharacteristic for the team to find a hidden gem.
Jabari Brown, SG
Assuming Kyle Anderson makes the final roster, San Antonio is a tough place for free agents to find a job at the moment, given the team's lack of openings.
However, if 2013-14 breakout reserve Patty Mills seeks out a starter role elsewhere, the Spurs would likely be in need of a similar scoring spark to fill his role off the bench.
Jabari Brown, an undersized shooting guard from Missouri, could fit into their system nicely.
Coach Gregg Popovich enforces an offense that relies heavily on ball movement, with sequences that often culminate in three-pointers. With a natural shooting ability, Mills flourished in the system.
Brown, like Mills, is a three-point specialist with a shooting aptitude that makes him a floor-spacing threat along the perimeter.
He isn't merely a spot-up shooter, though, as he possesses the ability to create his own shot as well as a finishing ability that is expected from a slasher with a 6'8'' wingspan.
It will take a lot for Brown to develop into anything beyond a pure shooter, but his offensive upside makes him a strong fit in any offense that relies on three-point efficiency and production off screens.
Khem Birch, PF
Khem Birch has evident weaknesses—and naturally so; he did, after all, go undrafted.
Lacking strength and certain physical qualities, Birch—with a limited offensive game—was understandingly passed on during the draft.
However, his defensive prowess makes him stand out amongst the other undrafted players. He is both intelligent and gifted with raw talent on the defensive end, and while he may not ever develop into anything other than a role player, strong defense can always help a team.
The Spurs, who are still searching for quality pieces to fill the frontcourt, could make use of his aptitude, even if his one-dimensional skill set prevents him from playing major minutes.
With defense an important aspect, especially with Duncan on the decline, a vigilant watchman in the paint could make an interesting addition, should a roster spot open up.
James Michael McAdoo, F
If nothing else, James McAdoo is a name.
And while there are plenty of arguments that back the league's decision to let him sit out draft night, there is a legitimate reason as to why he has received so much attention.
After high school, he was one of the highest-profile prospects in the nation. His first year at North Carolina supported the notion that he was destined for a professional career.
But a supposed lack of discipline has led to decreasing statistics and a diminishing interest from pro teams.
Even so, his athleticism and natural talent, even if consistency is a concern, could make him successful in the right system. Under the tutelage of Popovich, he could find his way onto his previous path, which would make him a steal, given his undrafted status.
While it would take an open roster spot for San Antonio to roll the dice, McAdoo has displayed his upside, and in an environment that will force him to overcome his disciplinary problems, a McAdoo-San Antonio marriage at some point in the future could benefit both sides.
Artem Klimenko, C
Artem Klimenko slipped on draft night for a handful of reasons, with the most obvious revolving around his uninspiring strength and lack of a shooting touch down low.
However, his strong footwork and 7'4" wingspan, as well as a strong pick-and-roll game, offset his lack of athleticism.
Years ago, the same could have been said about Tiago Splitter. Despite his size and pick-and-roll flair, Splitter lacked the ability to bang with NBA bigs and the mechanics to be a consistent offensive contributor.
Since then, he has developed into a starter and a fan favorite in San Antonio. While he may not be a naturally gifted player, he has specific attributes that make him a good fit in the Spurs system.
Klimenko, with a Splitter-esque repertoire, could make a similar impact. His skills make him a strong fit, and he has the gift of 7'1" size. Should he receive the opportunity to play for a club like the Spurs, the Russian big man could develop into a potential rotation player.
Patric Young, C
Patric Young is, quite simply, a beast.
He isn't polished on the offensive end and doesn't stand out with a particular skill. Yet, he is a physical specimen with unmatched strength, size and toughness.
Bearing resemblance, in some aspects, to Spurs big man Aron Baynes, Young has the characteristics that make him an ideal roster-filler. His defense is above average, and his competitive drive and unparalleled physicality make it probable that he gets a shot to prove his worth, despite not hearing his name called on Thursday.
For San Antonio, who has historically taken an interest in bangers along the lines of Baynes and DeJuan Blair, Young could make an impact if his repertoire is ever needed to fill a roster spot.
He has the qualities that can't be taught, and under Popovich's tutelage, the Florida product could develop into a scary competitor.