[Editor's Note: I asked Sam to look into the players he thought might help the Spurs. Now we all know that trying to read PATFO's mind is an exercise in futility, but that doesn't mean that we couldn't get lucky by chance. And the worst case scenario is that we all learn a bit more about some interesting prospects. -jrw]
This is the first installment in a series of Spurs draft previews I'm planning to do. As the season progresses and team's needs, as well as available players, become clearer, I will narrow my search and give more in-depth evaluations. But to kick off the list of potential draft picks, I present for your viewing pleasure:
- 6'9 to 6'10
- 230-235 lbs.
- 20 yrs. old
- Projected 2nd Round
Evaluation after the video...
The block is nice, but JJ is pure entertainment in this clip...from his crossover to his amusing ballhandling.
Lima, is the class of this year's international big men, according to several scouts. He is superb in pick-and-roll offense, shows great athleticism at both ends, and was MVP at the 2011 Adidas Eurocamp. Lima has been thriving in the elite Spanish ACB league and signed a contract last year with Unicaja Malaga. That shouldn't affect his availability for NBA teams, however, complications with Spanish citizenship buried him on U.M.'s depth chart, and he is only now starting to see significant minutes with the club, being previously relegated to their developmental team.
Though the Spurs' likely late first-round selection may be a bit higher than he is currently projected to go, the Brazilian's athleticism, shot-blocking, and developing offensive game may be just what Dr. R.C. orders to fill a very real team need.
DeJuan Blair has shown that he can contribute at a high level at certain times and effectively disappear at others. Tiago Splitter was developing nicely this season when healthy, but his future would be better served more at the 5 than the 4. Bonner is solid in his role, but he isn't the athletic defender the Spurs need.
When the dust settles, Augusto Lima's ceiling could be anything from Serge Ibaka to Josh Smith. NBADraft.net predicts Tyrone Hill. After researching many other reports, I see a more elite skill set, but only time will tell.