The Spurs own their highest pick in the draft since they took Tim Duncan in 1997 thanks to them putting together their worst season since 1997. While the 2020 draft isn’t loaded with the types of prospects that can swing their fortunes in a similar way, there will surely be difference-makers coming out of it at various spots, and PATFO will have the chance to nab one on draft night.
What makes this draft interesting for Spurs fans isn’t its star power so much as the volatility it presents. The teams with the top two picks (Minnesota and Golden State) would probably prefer to trade them and be better now, and the same has been reported of others in the top 10. While San Antonio has good reason to be opportunistic within that climate, there’s the flipside to consider: one of the strengths of this year’s crop is its depth, and the Spurs could simply stand pat at 11 and let a quality player fall to them.
Who they ultimately pick is anyone’s guess—we don’t even know who they’re targeting outside of some reported interviews with big men like Precious Achiuwa and Jalen Smith. Why they end up picking that player, whoever he is? Would you believe we have that part all figured out? All it took was an unhealthy consumption of draft content and the moderate consumption of two adult drinks to produce the extremely straightforward and unimpeachably accurate flowchart below. Take a gander and chart your path.
One of the few pieces of Spurs draft logic we’ve gotten from them directly is the view that Kentucky players may represent a market inefficiency, pulled from this R.C. Buford quote from last summer:
“Sometimes, especially when they’re not the elite talent at Kentucky, you oftentimes get maybe lumped into a group of really good players and it may be difficult to separate yourself. The team had 3 guys drafted in the first round. That potential is there.”