San Antonio Spurs Draft Prep

San Antonio enters unfamiliar territory here with its highest pick since taking Tim Duncan (1997) with the No. 1 overall pick. Since then, the Spurs have selected higher than 20th just twice (2018 and 2019). Given San Antonio’s history of uncovering gems, there’s a good chance it will find one this year. Suffocating defense is a hallmark of any Gregg Popovich-coached team, yet the Spurs ranked 19th in defensive rating (112.6). It’s clear they need help there. San Antonio ranked fourth in 3-point percentage (37.6), but 28th in attempts (28.5), as its top scorers — DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge — feast from the midrange. The Spurs need shooters and defenders.

A Stat That Matters
1 — The Spurs ranked in the top five (and were the only team that ranked in the top 10) in field goal percentage (47.2%, fifth), 3-point percentage (37.6%, fourth), and free throw percentage (81.0%, second). But they still ranked just 10th in offensive efficiency (111.7 points scored per 100 possessions).
— John Schuhmann

The Way To Go
The Spurs already have talented, young guards in Lonnie Walker IV, Derrick White and Dejounte Murray while rookie forward Keldon Johnson impressed the coaching staff with his gritty play in the NBA bubble. Given the need for perimeter scoring and defense, San Antonio is likely to take a hard look in the first round at players such as Tyrese Haliburton, who shot 41.9% from deep and R.J. Hampton, who could benefit significantly from the tutelage of Popovich on the defensive end and shooting coach Chip Engelland. Versatile, big wing Patrick Williams of Florida State makes sense here, too.

Under Contract
G: Patty Mills
G: Dejounte Murray
G: Derrick White
G/F: Rudy Gay
G/F: Keldon Johnson
G/F: Lonnie Walker IV
F: Trey Lyles
F: Luka Samanic
F/C: LaMarcus Aldridge
F/C: Chimezie Metu

Free Agents
G: Marco Belinelli (unrestricted)
G: Bryn Forbes (unrestricted)
G/F: DeMar DeRozan (player option)
F/C: Drew Eubanks (restricted)
C: Jakob Poeltl (restricted)
>2020 Free Agent Tracker

Recent Draft History
2019: Luka Samanic (19), Keldon Johnson (29), Quinndary Weatherspoon (49)
2018: Lonnie Walker IV (18), Chimezie Metu (49)
2017: Derrick White (29), Jaron Blossomgame (59)

— Michael C. Wright