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San Antonio Spurs: 2022 NBA Draft Team Needs and Targets
With the 2022 NBA Draft fast approaching, we're taking a look at what each lottery team needs to target with their draft selections, continuing with the San Antonio Spurs.
Welcome back to our No Ceilings 2022 NBA Draft Lottery Team Series!
Over the next few weeks, we as a team are going to dive into the needs and targets of each lottery squad. What are the weaknesses and holes of each franchise? Are there players targetable in the lottery who can help fill those gaps?
We will answer those questions and more 5-on-5 style, continuing with the San Antonio Spurs!
Without further ado, let’s see where San Antonio should look for some help with the ninth overall pick.
1. What do you think is the biggest weakness for the Spurs that NEEDS to be addressed on draft night?
Nathan: The Spurs could go in a number of different directions, but I would say what NEEDS to be addressed on draft night is a mixture of athletic size in the middle along with better spot-up shooting from the perimeter. San Antonio has a number of guards/wings who can get their own shot, but they could stand to add more spot-up options to space the floor around the likes of Dejounte Murray, Josh Primo, and Keldon Johnson.
Tyler Rucker: Frontcourt depth and perimeter offense. I love the core that the Spurs have been developing, but they need to have a big draft in which they walk away with a couple of nice additions to the roster. If San Antonio is set on finding a big man of the future in the lottery, that’s an option. If they decide to go another route and hunt for a potential bucket-getting machine on the perimeter, they could find that as well.
Tyler Metcalf: Shot creation. It goes against how they always play, but every team needs at least a player or two who can go out and create their own shot.
Nick: Even though Dejounte Murray made a massive leap last season as a playmaker for others, I think the Spurs would be well-served by getting Murray some help in the passing department.
Albert: I’d like to see them add some versatile bigs. I like the young core of guards and wings they’ve assembled; adding a versatile big would be really fun to pair with this group. Whether it be a 4 or 5, I’d like to see them add a big guy who can provide some more rim protection but also can do more than just be a pick-and-roll guy.
Alex: The Spurs have a solid group of young guys, but none of them are great playmakers just yet, so that could be a weakness that needs addressing. I would also say rim protection as well, either at the forward or center spot.
Evan: I’m a big fan of many of the young core players for the Spurs. Dejounte Murray, Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, Lonnie Walker IV, and Josh Primo are all players who I believe are foundational pieces to build upon going forward. However, they don’t really have any sort of legitimate playmaking threat outside of Murray and are lacking depth in the frontcourt as well.
Maxwell: The combination of size, versatility, and athleticism in their frontcourt. They have an exciting group of young guards and wings, but the frontcourt doesn’t have the same upside or malleability.
Stephen: The Spurs are weird in the sense that they have players in a number of spots who you want to give time to mature. I’ll say more playmaking to help Dejounte Murray.
2. Which position group would you target most for the Spurs: Guards, Wings, Forwards, or Centers?
Nathan: I would say there are a number of forwards and wings who the Spurs should look at later on with their other first-round picks, but if they want to draft for value, there are only three centers I project to be lottery-level talents as opposed to the other position groups. More athletic size is absolutely a need, whether Jakob Poeltl is here to stay or not.
Tyler Rucker: I’m continuing to mentally battle with the desire for San Antonio to get a lethal big man while also believing the team should target some more offensive weaponry on the perimeter. For now, I will say Centers. But ask me again in 25 minutes.
Tyler Metcalf: Wings/Forwards.
Nick: Despite my long-time Jakob Poeltl belief, I would say that the Spurs need help at center more than any other positional group, and then wings would be their second priority.
Maxwell: Centers and forwards.
Stephen: Wings #1, Center #2.
3. Is there any argument for the Spurs to draft based on fit around a core group of players, or should “BPA” be in play at all times for San Antonio on draft night?
Nathan: This is one of the trickier teams to answer for because the Spurs have a number of good young guards and wings to build around for the future. There’s been a bit of a log jam of late, and I still don’t know how it ends for someone like Lonnie Walker, for example. Building out the frontcourt would be more of my concern, but if someone falls and is there at #9 who merited being taken much sooner, sometimes you have to make that swing regardless of roster make-up.
Tyler Rucker: It’s basically becoming a sensation to see what the Spurs do on draft night every year; this time, we might get that rush at least three different times in the first round. I believe San Antonio will continue to go the BPA route as they look to find another piece that will fit their culture.
Tyler Metcalf: All I know is that the Spurs are going to take their guy. He may be BPA, or he may address a need, but odds are, it’s a mix of both.
Nick: The Spurs should probably be in BPA mode here, but I wouldn’t fault them for looking at their core group of young guards and deciding to go for more of a position of need if the highest-rated player remaining on their board doesn’t shore up some of their weaknesses.
Albert: I could see them going BPA. I could also see them targeting wings at that spot and picking the best wing available. I could also see myself laughing at how hilariously wrong I was about what I thought they were going to do. Nobody knows anything when it comes to the Spurs.
Alex: I still view the Spurs as being in BPA mode. Their young core is solid, but I don’t think any position is really off the table because they have a star already in the fold. Take the best prospect regardless of the position.
Evan: I think it should be BPA, but I also wouldn’t blame San Antonio for taking someone who they feel fits within their current core or who they see as the missing link to meshing all the pieces they have on their roster already together.
Maxwell: I would lean BPA. As much as I like their core, no one has reached “you cannot draft someone over me” status yet. I’d prefer a forward or center, but if someone like Jaden Ivey is still on the board somehow, you can’t pass him up.
Stephen: I think San Antonio needs to be mindful of the players that project to be rotational mainstays. Murray, Primo, and Vassel are players I’d consider worth betting on and perhaps worth considering drafting around.
4. Who are the Top 5 targets for the Spurs to select with the ninth pick?
Nathan: Mark Williams, Jalen Duren, Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin, and Malaki Branham.
Tyler Rucker: Johnny Davis, Dyson Daniels, Mark Williams, Ousmane Dieng, and Malaki Branham.
Tyler Metcalf: Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, Keegan Murray, Ousmane Dieng, and Dyson Daniels.
Nick: Dyson Daniels, Jalen Duren, Mark Williams, Bennedict Mathurin, and Nikola Jovic.
Albert: Keegan Murray, Dyson Daniels, Jalen Duren, Mark Williams, and Jeremy Sochan.
Alex: Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin, Malaki Branham, Jalen Duren, and Mark Williams.
Evan: Bennedict Mathurin, Dyson Daniels, Johnny Davis, Keegan Murray, and Nikola Jovic.
Maxwell: Dyson Daniels, Bennedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, Keegan Murray, and Jalen Duren.
Stephen: Bennedict Mathurin, Johnny Davis, Malaki Branham, Keegan Murray, and Jalen Duren.
5. Who is an under-the-radar surprise target for the Spurs?
Nathan: Ousmane Dieng. There’s a legitimate lottery case to be made for the French wing, and the second-half stretch he had over in New Zealand won many scouts over to the side of betting on his long-term potential. 6’10” wings who can add shooting, secondary playmaking, and defensive value once more of the body fills out are very rare players to find in a draft. Given San Antonio’s legacy of developing and winning with international talent, I’d expect they’re having intriguing conversations about him in the office.
Tyler Rucker: Mark Williams. I’m still convinced that Williams could be the exact type of player that the Spurs organization would be willing to go after in the draft. Although Williams might not have the “upside” to become a dominant offensive force, he’s a high motor big man who will buy into any role that is asked of him. Those are the types of guys that the Spurs organization has targeted over the years, players that are “over” themselves.
Tyler Metcalf: Mark Williams. Jalen Duren is often the guy who gets mocked here, but Williams is certainly more ready to contribute immediately. He’s a brilliant defender, has a great motor, and is incredibly low maintenance on offense.
Nick: I think Nikola Jovic makes a ton of sense for this Spurs team as a playmaking big man with shooting touch who won’t have to fight for minutes in the backcourt.
Albert: What if the Spurs pulled another Josh Primo and took EJ Liddell with the ninth pick in the draft? I’d love Liddell playing with that squad. Liddell could offer them really versatile defense, shooting upside, and playmaking as well. With the Spurs, anything is possible.
Alex: Ousmane Dieng is an intriguing prospect, but he will need a good developmental system and time in order to reach his full potential. The Spurs already have enough young talented players on the roster who need minutes such that they can afford to bring Dieng along slowly in the G-League, while also being able to pick advantageous spots for him to get some run in the NBA.
Evan: I wouldn’t be totally shocked if the Spurs took a shot on Jalen Williams or Nikola Jovic at #9.
Maxwell: The surprise selection of Josh Primo last year makes me think they could gamble on another late-surging, high ceiling prospect who is young for the class, and that’s Ousmane Dieng.
Stephen: This may not be a surprise in the traditional sense, but Mark Williams going here may shock some–especially if Duren is still available. While he would be able to be an anchor, it would be very beneficial for him to have some defensive talent around him–which he would have with the Spurs.