Sunday night was the deadline for early entrants in to the NBA Draft. Most guys don't waste too much time declaring after the NCAA Tournament ends while others take their time and gauge their odds of being a first round pick or being drafted at all before they declare. One of the ones choosing the latter was Colorado's Andre Roberson, who waited till late Sunday to make his decision to enter the draft.
The San Antonio native took his time with good reason. Colorado University's Athletic Department reported that Roberson made his decision after meeting with Head Coach Tad Boyle and Athletic Director Mike Bohn to discuss the NBA Undergraduate Advisory Committee's evaluation of his draftability. That assessment revealed Roberson was likely a late second round pick and that there are guarantees he will be drafted at all.
Regardless of if he's drafted, Roberson has the ability to be a rotation player in the league. He's the reigning PAC-12 Defensive Player of the Year, was second in the nation in rebounding and averaged a double-double the last two years. However, Roberson's offensive game didn't develop from year two to year three like scouts hoped. He's not a very good ball handler and doesn't have much of a mid-range game. Still, he did shoot 58 percent from the field and 34 percent from three, which shows a capability to hit the long range shot. If he can defend three positions on the floor, rebound the ball (a skill which definitely translates from college to the pros), and finish at the rim, what more are you looking for from a late first round pick or early second round pick?
At worst, the 6'7" Roberson is going to be like Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, capable of both playing power forward at times, but primarily serving as a shut down wing defender. But I think his offensive game will develop past Mbah a Moute's, even if it's just an ability to hit a corner 3. The draft combine will go a long way in determining where Roberson goes. But really, what would the Spurs have to lose by drafting a guy with his potential with the third to last pick of the draft?
Should Spurs target ready to play Russian?
Earlier this month, I touched on three international players with home run potential, but could also be busts. One prospect I left out was Russia's Sergey Karasev. I left him out because he's a safer pick than Dario Saric, Lucas Nogueira and Giannis Adetokunbo, but also has a little bit lower ceiling. The skinny on Karasev is that he's 19 year old, 6'7" shooting guard playing big minutes for Russia's BC Triumph.
Unlike a lot of the European prospects in this year's draft, Karasev has been very productive, averaging 16 points a game in 32 minutes during Eurocup. His numbers went up in both the VTB United League and Russian League seasons. Karasev can shoot, he's lefty with great passing abilities and he's got the size to play either wing position on offense. Defensively, he's a bit more of a question mark. He's not a terrible athlete, but as DraftExpress' Mike Schmitz notes, his technique is pretty bad. It could be that he's 19 and hasn't really been taught defensive technique yet. Schmitz added that he could definitely stand to gain some weight, especially if he's going to play small forward in the NBA. But really, as you can see from the video below, Karasev's shooting ability and court vision is really what stands out most about his game.
Right now, Karasev is ranked 20th on DraftExpress' big board and 25th on ESPN's. So he's certainly within the Spurs' range. I haven't seen the full details yet, but it appears Karasev's contract, but from what I've read it's flexible, meaning he could come over this summer or wait a year or two. Imagine a sharp shooting two guard that can create for others either playing next to Kawhi Leonard for years to come or replacing Manu Ginobili as a playmaking sixth man when Manu decides to hang it up.
The San Antonio Spurs need a bigger wing than Nando De Colo and it remains to be seen whether Gary Neal will get an offer in free agency to rich for the Spurs to match. Karasev could be their best option in this draft, even if they have to trade up a couple of spots to get him. His defense may shaky at best, but at 19 that's probably correctable. We're also talking about a kid who would be a freshman in college who is playing in one of the best leagues in Europe and leads his team in scoring. That's a very encouraging prospect and one certainly worth keeping an eye on in the coming months.
Photos: D1 Nation and FIBA
I repeat, for years now the Spurs are drafting undersized rookies. Why not forget for a while PGs, SGs and SFs and just concentrate on filing the PF/C position? TD is not staying with the team forever. If they can't draft a credible big man then, try free agency. There are some big men like JJ Hickson, Andray Blatche,and even Anderson varejao.who will be traded at the end of the season. And, Gerard Hederson, Jr. (SG) will be a free agent and so is Chandler Paarsons (SF). As I stated in previous post recently, the Spurs will be better off with these players. And they have enough savings to sign Varejao and either JJ Hickson or Andray Blatche and draft either Lucas Noguiera or Jeff Withey.
@rtesoro440 Well if you are going for a big man, the spurs should DRAFT a young big guy to help rebuild after Tim retires. The big men you mentioned are all either past, or in the middle of their primes. They are not long term solutions, as talented as they all are. The spurs need to draft a young big man who could last the next 10 years. Lucas Noguiera is athletic and has great size, but VERY unskilled and lacks a very low basketball IQ. He needs a lot of time to improve his skills, I don't think we'll be doing another project. Jeff Withey is an excellent defensive big man. He is great at rim protection, but his offensive game is almost nonexistent. He doesn't have even a decent post game, and struggles scoring on offense. In MY opinion, the Spurs should draft Mike Muscala. He is BALANCED. He has an NBA ready offensive game, and is a solid defender. He is a solid rebounder and can make jump shots to boot. The only knack against him is he played in a pretty weak conference in college. Even though his level of competition was a little weaker, it's still Division 1 competition. Also, he just needs to add strength. Scouts don't know how his skills will translate to the NBA, but the overall consensus is he is the most NBA ready big man who is not a lottery pick. His OFFENSIVE game is arguably the most NBA ready out of the ENTIRE draft. He has many skills, jump hooks, spin moves, line drives, mid range jump shots, etc. Mike Muscala, to me looks very good. He isn't projected to be first round (only because he played in a not so strong conference, not because of his skills) and we could steal him.
That's tough. I think the top two ate Giannis and Dario. Dario's production has slipped a little, but he's still considered the best European 18 year old prospect, and that's saying something. Any one of these guys could be busts or be superstars. SOMEBODY has to take a chance in these guys.
Getting somebody in free agency is far better than getting prospects in the draft. Very often they turn out LEMONS like Robinson, Melo, Sacre and even the Morris bros. How many years do the Spurs need to develop rookies NOT named TD? Are JJ Hickson, Andray Blatche or Varejao less qualified than Muscala or other big rookie you can think of? Andray Blatche( doing good with the Nets) is very young at I think 23 or 24 and JJ Hickson and Varejao are still in their prime and they are all available and ready to go. TD is retiring in 2 or 3 years. The Spurs can't wait 10 years. The same goes with Manu whose contract is expiring. He must agree to a reduced price like TD did say, $7M. If you feel that Noguiera or Withey can't pass the test, then Muscala it is but the Spurs need NOW to train to replace TD and JJ Hickson, Blatche or Varejao fill the bill. And pls don't forget Gerard Henderson,Jr. at SG and Chandler Parsons at SF.