First, let me introduce myself. My name is Cade. I’m 12 years old. I have always followed basketball, and my dream is to be in an NBA front office someday. My dad wrote for Pounding The Rock during the Spurs championship in 2014, but I don’t remember much from that time. But I know basketball runs through my brain 24/7. I’ve been working on my favorite Spurs picks for the past few weeks and wanted to share them with all of you.
4. Moussa Diabate, great
Diabate has all the tools to be a good big in this championship, he just needs to put it all together. He has length and athleticism to become a good blocker, but sometimes he gets lost on defense. In attack, he’s a great finisher around the circle, but he’s not a consistent enough shooter to stretch the floor. Diabate manages the pitch well and showed flashes as a passer-by. He satisfies a frontcourt need for the Spurs and has room to grow as an upward swing.
3. Keon Ellis, Ala
Ellis had a successful collegiate career as the definitive role player. Ellis won’t completely wow you with jaw-dropping highlights or insane stat lines, but he does the dirty work on both ends. At 6’6 “with a wingspan of 6’10”, Ellis can protect more positions on the perimeter and can add more versatility to an already solid defensive team. On offense, he can hit three right and doesn’t need the ball in his hand to be effective. He may not have the edge you want on a rebuilding team, but he will hurry on every game.
2. Caleb Houstan, Ala
Caleb Houstan entered the top ten of the year but disappointed many with his poor play. He was tagged as a three-point shooter, but he didn’t take the shots down with a tall clip. However, he showed all the tools that made him a highly valued prospect in the beginning and has a great shot. At 6’8 ”, he’s big enough to be a winger and moves his feet well. If you look beyond the percentages and numbers per match, you can see raw talent with the advantage of turning into a future starter for the Spurs.
1. Jaylin Williams, great
If the Spurs have a chance to get Williams in the second round, they are all right. Williams is a high IQ defender who can communicate, perimeter pass and is extremely good at protecting the edge with his amazing ability to draw stacks. In attack, Williams is a strong screener and a good short passer. He’s shown some promise as a shooter, but that’s probably something he needs to work on in the NBA. Getting a great clever who can do a little bit of everything can prove to be very valuable.
4. Hugo Besson, guard
Besson is a silky smooth point guard with great ball skills. He has tight handles and a wide variety of moves he can put together. A big blow to him is his size and build. These concerns, coupled with his poor defensive effort, may not make him the best option for the Spurs. San Antonio has several guards and they need help on the front line, so I’d be fine if they gave up on taking Besson in this draft.
3. Gabriele Procida, Ala
Procida is a buttery winger, 6’7 ”, with elite athleticism. Procida is probably not a name that many people have heard, but he looks like a legitimate NBA player. He is a bouncy over-the-edge finisher who can space the floor for Dejounte Murray and moves well without the ball. In defense, he is of sufficient size and length to be useful. It could be a swing, but it could be useful to catch someone like Procida later in the first round.
2. Jake LaRavia, forward
Jake LaRavia is a versatile all-round striker who has skyrocketed on draft boards. LaRavia has a great defensive instinct and a sturdy build to stand up to his man. He can defend from the low post or switch to smaller guards. On the offensive side, LaRavia can take down three, attack in closing, and reach the edge in transition. He also has the vision of finding open teammates. LaRavia is a safe bet and, at just 20, can turn into something more than a role player.
1. Dalen Terry, guard
Dalen Terry would join the Spurs organization and immediately become a fan favorite. It carries great energy and is an excellent communicator on both ends of the floor. Terry is a 6’7 ”guard with exuberant demeanor who can defend 1-3. He’s incredibly versatile on that side, which he fits in with what the Spurs seem to strive for. On the other side of the ball, he can be a pick-and-roll initiator or play alongside another ball handler as a slasher. Terry is expected to have a huge impact both on and off the pitch from day one.
4. Patrick Baldwin Jr., forward
Baldwin was another guy who was screened in the top half of the lottery, but after a disappointing season, he fell for some draws. He has a smooth deep jumper, which would help improve spacing for the Spurs. He played on a horrible team and the opposing defender invaded him. This will not happen in the NBA and he should benefit from a lesser role. But a big blow against him is his athletic ability. Baldwin tested horribly in the combine rankings near or at the bottom of every exercise in strength and agility. He should be a threat beyond the arc, but he’s not my favorite prospect.
3. Jaden Hardy, guard
Hardy is one of the most electric guards in this class, with an intriguing movement that fires promising flashes of passage. Hardy has a deep range and can climb well beyond the three-point line. But a guard with little defensive instinct and minimal effort is not what Spurs should be looking for. He can play on or off the ball, so he has a lot of versatility on that side, but he just doesn’t fit the needs of San Antonio.
2. Marjon Beauchamp, Ala
Beauchamp is someone many Spurs fans desire for one of the later picks, and I agree. He is a resilient athlete who can run with guards in the open plane. He may also have untapped creative abilities that he couldn’t show in the G-League alongside ballguards like Dyson Daniels and Jaden Hardy. He said Spurs would be a dream destination for him earlier this year and he loves what they do. I would be thrilled to add Beauchamp to this list.
1. Tari Eason, forward
Tari Eason is someone a lot of people have in the lottery on their big scoreboards, but I’m a little more skeptical of him. Eason is a raw and witty striker who has great instinct, athletic ability and wingspan to be a disruptive defender in the NBA. That said, his offense is a work in progress. He’s an elite at attacking the hoop, but with a streaked shot and limited feel, I don’t trust him to create his shot that often. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Spurs decide to catch him at nine.
4. Ousmane Dieng, Ala
Of all the players who have climbed the boards in the past two weeks, Dieng has been the steepest. After an extremely sluggish start to the season in which he rarely contributed anything other than defense, he finally started showing life songs and making shots. Dieng was also an underrated playmaker, plus he has a promising edge as a smooth shot maker and versatile defender. His body is not fully developed and would be a little in the range of nine, but at 6’10 ”with that kind of skill, the Spurs have to consider him here.
3. Dyson Daniels, guard
Dyson Daniels is the ultimate teammate. In attack as an attacking midfielder he always makes the right readings. His shooting divisions don’t stand out at first glance, but he has reportedly made major improvements to his form throughout the year. Daniels is an excellent defender on and off the ball who can cover 1-3, and is widely regarded as one of the best stoppers of this draft. He may not have the maximum possible advantage due to his inability to create his own shot, but with everything else he does on the pitch, that flaw can be overlooked.
2. Jalen Duren, Great
Duren is strangely gifted with incredible size, build, and athleticism. He is built like a bodybuilder and is only 18 years old. Duren has exceptional timing and instinct that make him a shot-blocking force in the paint, but he also has the foot speed to occasionally pass to smaller players. On the offensive side, Duren can set up sturdy screens and end up on the edge with ease thanks to his ridiculous measurements. He is also a talented short passerby, with the ability to draw attention within the paint and make the right readings, which many experts compare him to Robert Williams. He is a non-shooter and his footwork in post needs improvement, but at such a young age, the Spurs could help him work those areas over time.
1. Jeremy Sochan, forward
Jeremy Sochan fits exactly what the Spurs desperately need, a switchable quattro that can protect every position and act as a connector in attack. Sochan has the speed to defend smaller guards, but the length and size to cover dominant opponents in the low post. He was one of the leaders for a dominant Baylor defense last season, and he was just a freshman. With enticing tools and unique versatility, Sochan will cause problems for opposing teams. Up front, Sochan makes an impact with smart passes and timely cuts. He doesn’t yet have the ability to craft shots or shoot, but he puts his fingerprints on the game everywhere with its hustle and bustle, character and intangibles about him. He would be my pick at number nine.
So, there you have it, my picks for every pick the Spurs have. I think you can see a pattern of the types of players I like, who are versatile players with great defense. I don’t think this is the exact result that will happen during draft night, but these are the players that I believe can immediately fit into the Spurs system.