After a string of picks categorized as draft and stash, the San Antonio Spurs have excelled in recent years turning back end of the first round guys in to rotation players. Tiago Splitter I suppose was a bit of both, then there was George Hill, then DeJuan Blair who was actually a second round pick. More recently Cory Joseph has shown he's at least a back up caliber point guard. This year their draft position will be no different. Now that the college season is over for all but four teams, we may be getting an idea of who the Spurs might be targeting.
According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, general manager R.C. Buford himself was in town last month presumably to have a look at freshman center Steven Adams (H/T to Dan McCarney for the link).
San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford was at the Petersen Events Center in March for Pitt’s home finale against Villanova. Adams did not play in the game because he sprained an ankle in practice the day before. NBA scouts visit Pitt home games often, but a general manager is more noteworthy.
All season long Adams was thought of as a top prospect for next year's draft because of how raw he looked this year. However, he declared for this year's draft earlier this week. The 19 year old from New Zealand finished the season averaging 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes per game and one creepy mustache. Those aren't earth shattering totals but he's already a very good defender and he's really athletic for his size. He also had his best game of the season in the Panthers' second round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Final Four team Witchita St. In that game, Adams scored 13 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.
He's definitely a project, but his size, athleticism and defensive ability suggests he would at worst be an Omer Asik type player. The Spurs also employ Sean Marks, Adams' fellow countryman, so there'd be a certain comfort level for him in San Antonio. Right now he's ranked 27 on ESPN's Big Board and 20 on Draft Express'. Maybe a trade would need to be worked out, maybe he falls to the Spurs at pick 28 or 29. We'll see, his workouts will go a long way on where he might go in the draft.
Do you like them going after another big man or would you like to see them take a wing to go behind Kawhi Leonard? Let us know in the comment section.
I say draft a 5 then a small foward as far as a inside out player that's what Ryan Richards is for get him over here and let Tim Duncan teach him the game. That Adam Hanga dude can be Emanuel's replacement when he retires, but Baynes,Splitter, Duncan are their only true bigs Spurs have enough overseas prospects and a good drafting eye but Ryan Richards is a must in my opinion.
@ZILLA Ryan Richards is a bust. You want an NBA ready big man who is not a lottery pick? Mike Muscala from Bucknell. His offensive post game is polished and way better than Richards. Mike can also shoot and has a great midrange game. Mike Muscala is more NBA ready than Richards.
How can you say Richards is a bust and nobody has seen him preform in a Spurs uniform, just youtube highlights. Under the right guidance which the Spurs can provide he could be an important piece to their future. Obviously there's something they see in him or they wouldn't have drafted him.
I am not so excited about who to draft, but we have a few dollars to spend this time around and Corey Brewer is available, as are E. Clarke, and Jarred Jack. None of them will break the bank.. If Jack is gone, Blair, maybe Bonner and Patty, we have space for a another wing, an experienced and clutch PG an athletic stretch 4 and an athletic 3-4 in J Greene(Toros),
Brewer is Manu's replacement and can back up Kawhi. Clarke replaces Blair and Bonner, and Jack gives Tony something close to TJ Ford with more size and shooting. Greene gives us something we haven't had since McDyess, a 4 that can hit mid range shots and run the court and block shots. The guys in Europe can grow up slowly and fit when the money gets tight again, in a few years.
You want an NBA ready big man in this summer's draft? Get Mike Muscala from Bucknell . According to every description I've read of him, his offensive game is the most NBA ready out of EVERY other big man in the draft. Yes, he wasn't in a big time conference, but just read what scouts say about him, and you will know he is legit. Every scout, EVERY SCOUT believes he is NBA ready. According to them, his post game is elite. He has a reliable mid range jumper and is a solid rebounder. He is not a defensive juggernaut (more of an offensive specialist), but he is solid and not a scrub on defense. He led the nation in double doubles this year, and was fourth in the nation in rebounding. He isn't even projected to go in the first round, solely because he played on a team that is in a not so well known conference (although it is Division 1). You want an NBA ready big man and the best big man who is not a lottery pick, go with Mike Muscala. His offensive game is refined, polished, and ready to go. His defense WILL get better if Pop is coaching him, that I know. I like Mike Muscala, and if the Spurs are going for a big man, they should go with him. He is not projected to be first round, so we can snag him at our pick. I don't know any small forwards that we can draft because all the good ones will be taken early. If the Spurs decide to go overseas, which will be of no surprise, they can probably invest in Dario Saric as a project. 18 years old, arguably the best prospect in all of Europe for his age group. In a nutshell, he is Manu Ginobili but taller, and maybe a SLIGHTLY better scorer. At 6'10, his strengths are court vision, passing, and he is becoming a better shooter. He doesn't have crazy athleticism, but he makes up for it with his IQ which is EXTREMELY HIGH. He is young though, so this is a draft and stash. He is projected to go mid first round so you know he is good. Watch some film on him, he is rather good. His performances vary though. On his CLUB team, he is decent. He doesn't play so many minutes and it's probably because he's the young one on the team. His stats aren't stellar, but he still has time to grow and learn. Now on his NATIONAL team, that's a different story. He is a white Kevin Durant on his National team. He led the 2012 U-19 FIBA World Championship with like 26 ppg, 10.1 rpg, and put up 39 points in the gold medal game, while being crowned MVP. So when it comes to playing for his country's national team, he turns into a freakin beast. So yeah, those are my takes. I don't work for the front office but hopefully they get someone that we NEED. If it's another undersized guard we get, I swear.........................
Well a big like this kid Adams is worth some effort. Boris, Blair, Bonner are not 5's. Baynes, Splitter, and Duncan are only real 5 types. Baynes needs work and experience, Splitter I hope stays with us, but that is not definite. Blair is gone. Duncan is amazing, but we shouldn't keep thinking he can play at this level forever. We need to be prudent about all this and plan. R. Richards is a still more of a dream than reality, and he is truly a big 4 type not a 5 really, though he could play some. I really like J. Green with the Toros, but again he is an athletic 4. We absolutely need to draft a 5 in first round, but what do I or any of us really know. No one has been able to predict Spurs' Pop and FO on player moves and drafting. So my guess is as good as yours. I think Adam Hanga will be ready to go for next season's camp and summer roster and play the 2. Too many players at 1, 2 , and 3 spots. S. Jackson will not be back next season. Bertans is still way too raw for serious consideration for help next year. We'd have to move up some in the 1st by making a deal. NBA clubs are so over rating "raw potential" over on court production in young undeveloped kids. Adams will probably wow folks at private workouts and pre-draft camps. Anyway, let's get a ring this season first, but yea we gotta prepare. Go Spurs !!!
@Boo-J I like your way of thinking. I agree in that the Spurs must absolutely draft a 5 - even if it means moving up a few spots to secure either this Adams kid or Gourgi Dieng from Louisville. The Spurs are woefully unathletic, undersized and underskilled on the frontline. Baynes looks like a comer, but needs more development. This Adams kid certainly has the measurables, the motor and apparently the skills that would make him worth the risk. As stated, Duncan cannot man the frontline fort forever. Another young big, with size, is just the ticket this team needs to move into the future.