With the 55th pick in the NBA draft, the Spurs took Cady Lalanne, a 6'9" big man out of University of Massachusetts. As with most second round prospects drafted by PATFO, there isn't a whole lot of available information regarding Lalanne. Just after the selection, even Dan McCarney noted
Full disclosure: I have never heard of Cady Lalanne.— Dan McCarney (@danmccarneySAEN) June 26, 2015
For Lalanne's perspective of the draft and his potential life in the NBA, check out Daniel Malone's piece for MassLive. There are a couple of nice quotes in it that give insight into who Lalanne is on and off the court. He seems to know the right things to say so far.
"I think I fit well with them. You know, shooting the ball and rebounding, those things," he said. "I'll do whatever they ask me to do. I think it'll be a good fit."
If Lalanne is looking for direction, he need only turn his attention one his new teammates, superstar and future Hall of Famer
"Tim Duncan, from when I first started playing basketball, is someone I looked up to," said Lalanne, who was barely five years old when the Spurs' 19-year veteran was taken with No. 1 overall selection of the 1997 draft.
"I've already learned a lot from him. Now being able to watch him (in person) and learn from him, it'll be a great experience."
If you're looking for a detailed profile of Lalanne's game, I strongly suggest checking out Josh Riddell's scouting report on DraftExpress. His skillset gives a DeJuan Blair-ish vibe, especially the section where he is described as
...already a strong finisher around the rim and could find similar success at the next level with his physical attributes. He averaged 65.5% on shots around the rim according to Synergy Sports Technology, which would place him in the top ten of players in our top-100 with many of these shots coming off dump-off passes or offensive rebounds. He doesn't create many shots for himself but when given the ball around the rim, he converts these opportunities at a high clip.
Lalanne will also be able to contribute rebounding on both ends and playing with a relentless motor in attacking the glass will be key for him to find a niche at the next level. Tied for first in our top 100 in offensive rebounding at 4.5 per 40 minutes pace adjusted, Lalanne uses his length and athleticism to track down loose balls, even those outside his area. He provides similar value on the defensive end, averaging 7.9 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes pace adjusted. Rebounding will be a major selling point for him and keeping a constant energy level and dominating the glass will help him show his potential role to teams.
Despite this promising scouting report, it appears that basketball pundits have varying opinions of the Spurs' picks. Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe handed the Spurs a "D" for the draft, noting that,
Neither will see the floor next season, unless Lalanne shocks team officials in summer league and training camp. The Spurs don't want to invest any money in rookies when they are chasing Marc Gasol and LaMarcus Aldridge.
Scott Gleeson of USA Today was more generous with his grade, giving the Spurs a "B".
Regardless of what kind of picks they have, the Spurs always make smart choices. This seems to be the case again... Cady Lalanne (No. 55) didn't have much of a spotlight in college at UMass, but he's got the pieces to be a mainstay.
Sporting News filled out a pick-by-pick analysis of each player in the draft, which provides helpful details on the relatively unknown players. Regarding Cady, the article writes,
Lalanne is one of the higher-upside options at this point in the draft because of his huge wingspan and shot-blocking ability. He was very productive at UMass and could be a NBA Development Leaguer for a year or two while giving the Spurs someone with potential to call up.
What are your thoughts on Cady Lalanne? Is he a good project for the Toros, or should PATFO have found someone who could have an immediate bench impact (though there wasn't much left that late in the draft)?