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Pounding the Rock’s Pre-Draft Lottery Big Board and Spurs Pick Probability

A few prospects have set themselves apart from the crowd, but do the San Antonio Spurs have a realistic shot at selecting them in the 2020 NBA Draft?

South Florida v Florida State Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Spurs are less than a month away from making their first lottery pick in more than two decades, and in a draft class with little to no consensus, pinpointing a prospect who San Antonio might target isn’t so simple.

A handful of collegiate and international players are on my lottery radar, and the Silver and Black could go several directions with the 11th pick depending on who’s still available when they’re on the clock.

Aneesh Namburi and I have detailed nearly every first-round talent this class has to offer, so let’s take a look at my lottery Big Board and the likelihood of PATFO adding any of these players to their exhilarating young core.

Noah’s Lottery Big Board

1. Killian Hayes | Point Guard | Ratiopharm Ulm

Hayes is my top-rated prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft, and his combination of court vision, scoring potential, and defensive instincts packaged into an NBA ready body led to his meteoric rise on draft boards around the world this season. He likely won’t be available, but the Spurs shouldn’t hesitate to snag him if he slips, regardless of their crowded backcourt situation.

Pick Probability: 10%

2. Lamelo Ball | Point Guard | Illawarra Hawks

A generational passer with a flare and name recognition, LaMelo doesn’t fall outside the top four in any renowned mock drafts. His shot selection and defense are poor at best, though six-eight point guards don’t grow on trees, and that should be enough to intrigue front offices across the NBA. He plays with confidence and poise, and his upside is about as high as anyone in this class.

Pick Probability: 0%

3. Anthony Edwards | Shooting Guard | Georgia

An elite athlete and deadly scorer, Edwards may be the closest to being a sure-thing in the 2020 NBA Draft. His feel for the game is still evolving, but he has the physical tools, touch, and range to become a top option for a team in need of buckets. While there are some questions about his defensive fundamentals and decision making, that shouldn’t concern the Spurs considering how far he sits outside their reach.

Pick Probability: 0%

4. Deni Avdija | Combo Forward | Maccabi Tel Aviv

The undisputed darling of #SpursTwitter, Israeli point forward Deni Avdija, could be a perfect fit next to San Antonio’s collection of budding young guards. While I have some reservations about his shot translating in the NBA, he showed improvement throughout the season, and his team defense was impressive. Trading up might be their only option, though I doubt they have the assets to make that sort of deal.

Pick Probability: 10%

5. Isaac Okoro | Wing | Auburn

An uber-explosive wing with surprising passing chops and maybe the highest motor in this class, Okoro projects to be an immediate contributor for whoever selects him. Fixing his jumper could be the key to unlocking his offensive ceiling, though he won’t have any trouble locking down on the other end. The Auburn freshman is highly unlikely to fall to the Spurs, so don’t hold your breath.

Pick Probability: 15%

6. Devin Vassell | Wing | Florida State

Vassell was one of the steepest risers this season, and thanks to his elite defensive playmaking and reliable three-ball, the Florida State underclassman finds himself as a lottery-lock in the eyes of most evaluators. A recent video showing his strangely altered shot seems to have scared some people out of his corner, and if it causes a draft-night tumble, San Antonio could be the beneficiary.

Pick Probability: 30%

7. Onyeka Okongwu | Frontcourt | USC

This California native is a beast on the boards and a shot-blocking behemoth. Okongwu has drawn comparisons to Bam Adebayo, and though his passing is far from comparable, their measurables and college tape bare uncanny resemblances. Some shooting potential and the ability to operate as a rim-running big from day one have helped his stock, and the Silver and Black would have to get lucky to land OO.

Pick Probability: 15%

8. Aleksej Pokusevski | Frontcourt | Olympiacos

Poku is this year’s international man of mystery. With legitimate guard skills and unusual fluidity for a seven-footer, the youngest prospect in the 2020 NBA Draft comes with a high-risk high-reward flyer. He will probably be there for the taking at 11, but Spurs fans may not be too happy when he spends a few years in Austin. Still, the wait could be worth it for someone who has the potential to be a foundational centerpiece.

Pick Probability: 35%

9. James Wiseman | Center | Memphis

I’m lower on Wiseman than most national media outlets, and I have a difficult time agreeing with the “unicorn” label that’s followed him since high-school. He isn’t a consistent shooter or heady defender, and for all his athleticism and length, I can’t buy into him being a generational talent. His success will likely hinge on which organization picks him, and though San Antonio might maximize his skills, I doubt they’ll have the opportunity to do so.

Pick Probability: 0%

10. Obi Toppin | Power Forward | Dayton

At 23-years-old, Toppin is one of the safer, more seasoned options in the 2020 lottery. The junior forward looked like the second coming of Amar’e Stoudemire last season, yet too closely resembled Jahlil Okafor on the defensive end. Piling on points won’t be an issue for Obi, and he should be gone within the first few picks. I can’t see San Antonio trading up for a defensive liability, no matter how talented he is at putting the ball in the basket.

Pick Probability: 5%

11. Tyrese Haliburton | Point Guard | Iowa State

Haliburton might be one of the most underrated team defenders and passers in this class, and an abundance of talented point guards near the top has made it easy for him to get lost in the mix. He struggles to finish at the rim and shoot off the bounce, but if placed into a secondary initiator role, I believe the Iowa State sophomore will thrive. The Spurs don’t need another floor general, so they’ll probably pass on Hali.

Pick Probability: 10%

12. Patrick Williams | Combo Forward | Florida State

San Antonio needs frontcourt depth, and according to the majority of mock drafts, Patrick Williams seems to be the man to fit the bill. While the second-youngest prospect in this class flashed the kind of switchability and shot versatility that leaves NBA executives buzzing, fans may need to exercise patience with this budding combo forward. He projects to suit the demands of the ever-growing trend of small-ball, and the Spurs may be better suited than anyone to get the most out of him.

Pick Probability: 85%

13. Kira Lewis Jr. | Point Guard | Alabama

Kira Lewis Jr. has the sort of breakneck speed, craftiness, and touch around the rim that leaves me reminiscing about Tony Parker. That’s not to say the 19-year-old point guard will ever come close to the former Finals MVP, though I think a smart organization may end up with a similarly unique player. The improved spacing of the NBA should play to his strengths more than the college game did, but as was the case with Haliburton, the odds of this union coming to fruition are slim.

Pick Probability: 5%

14. RJ Hampton | Combo Guard | New Zealand Breakers

I had the pleasure of covering Hampton in person during his time at Little Elm High School, and I was encouraged by his progress as an 18-year-old playing abroad with grown men in the National Basketball League. His numbers don’t jump off the stat sheet, but his potential as a pure-scorer has me sold on his NBA future. Based on their needs and fit, PATFO presumably won’t think twice about passing on RJ, though he would be a fascinating project for them to invest the 11th pick in.

Pick Probability: 5%

*Pick probability determined by a combination of personal opinion and mock drafts from ten professional scouting networks cited by the NBA.