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What an extensive look at the history of the 11th overall pick says for the Spurs

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How has the 11th overall pick fared over the last 50 years, and what does that mean this year — if anything?

NBA Finals Game 1: Detroit Pistons v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

The 2020 NBA Draft is exactly two weeks away, and that means the San Antonio Spurs are right around the corner from making their fourth lottery selection in the 44-year history of the franchise.

This year the Silver and Black own the 11th overall pick, and though the odds of them finding a franchise player is slim to none, there will still be plenty of prospects worth drafting and developing.

Although the late lottery may feel like underwhelming positioning, especially in one of the weaker classes in recent memory, PATFO has excelled at turning overlooked talents into celebrated draft-day steals.

The history of this pick is flush with surprise stars, legendary role players, and bitter disappointments, so let’s take a look at the last 50 years’ worth of the 11th overall pick to get a better idea of what the Spurs can expect.

Key

Superstar: A player capable of leading his team to the NBA Finals, who left a meaningful mark on the game of basketball.

All-Star: A player who received at least one All-Star team nomination during his career.

Star: A player capable of carrying a heavy scoring load for a team in playoff contention who failed to make an All-Star appearance.

Solid Starter: A player capable of effectively playing a role as a starter on a playoff-caliber team.

Functional Role Player: A player capable of carving out a role in the rotation for an NBA franchise.

Bench Warmer: A player who spent the majority of their career coming off the bench playing limited minutes on their stops around the league.

Bust: A player who failed to meet expectations by a considerable margin or flamed out of the NBA within a few seasons.

* = Player is still active

(G) = Guard

(F) = Forward

(C) = Center

Historical Draft Results

2019: Cameron Johnson (F)

Original Franchise: Phoenix Suns

Seasons Played: 1*

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.8 PPG/3.3 RPG/1.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .435 FG%/.390 3P%/.807 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2018: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (G)

Original Franchise: Los Angeles Clippers

Seasons Played: 2*

Career Per-Game Stats: 14.6 PPG/4.2 RPG/3.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .473 FG%/.354 3P%/.804 FT%

Peak Outcome: Star

2017: Malik Monk (G)

Original Franchise: Charlotte Hornets

Seasons Played: 3*

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.6 PPG/1.9 RPG/1.7 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .395 FG5/.322 3P%/.850 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2016: Domantas Sabonis (C)

Original Franchise: Oklahoma City Thunder

Seasons Played: 4*

Career Per-Game Stats: 12.1 PPG/8.0 RPG/2.6 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .522 FG%/.321 3P%/.722 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

2015: Myles Turner (C)

Original Franchise: Indiana Pacers

Seasons Played: 5*

Career Per-Game Stats: 12.7 PPG/6.7 RPG/1.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .488 FG%/.357 3P%/.768 FT%

Peak Outcome: Solid Starter

2014: Doug McDermott (F)

Original Franchise: Chicago Bulls

Seasons Played: 6*

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.2 PPG/2.2 RPG/0.8 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .465 FG%/.412 3P%/.825 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2013: Michael Carter-Williams (G)

Original Franchise: Philadelphia 76ers

Seasons Played: 7*

Career Per-Game Stats: 10.4 PPG/4.4 RPG/4.4 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .402 FG%/.256 3P%/.713 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2012: Meyers Leonard (C)

Original Franchise: Portland Trailblazers

Seasons Played: 8*

Career Per-Game Stats: 5.6 PPG/3.9 RPG/0.9 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .482 FG%/.390 3P%/.811 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2011: Klay Thompson (G)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 8*

Career Per-Game Stats: 19.5 PPG/3.5 RPG/2.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .459 FG%/.419 3P%/.848 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

2010: Cole Aldrich (C)

Original Franchise: Oklahoma City Thunders

Seasons Played: 8

Career Per-Game Stats: 3.1 PPG/3.3 RPG/0.5 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .527 FG%/.000 3P%/.738 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bench Warmer

2009: Terrence Williams (F)

Original Franchise: New Jersey Nets

Seasons Played: 4

Career Per-Game Stats: 7.1 PPG/3.6 RPG/2.4 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .412 FG%/.317 3P%/.659 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

2008: Jerryd Bayless (G)

Original Franchise: Portland Trail Blazers

Seasons Played: 11

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.4 PPG/2.1 RPG/2.9 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .411 FG%/.361 3P%/.818 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2007: Acie Law (G)

Original Franchise: Atlanta Hawks

Seasons Played: 4

Career Per-Game Stats: 3.9 PPG/1.0 RPG/1.6 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .413 FG%/.235 3P%/.778 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

2006: J.J. Redick (G)

Original Franchise: Orlando Magic

Seasons Played: 14*

Career Per-Game Stats: 13.1 PPG/2.1 RPG/2.0 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .448 FG%/.416 3P%/.891 FT%

Peak Outcome: Solid Starter

2005: Fran Vázquez (F)

Original Franchise: Orlando Magic

Seasons Played: 0

Career Per-Game Stats: N/A

Career Shooting Splits: N/A

Peak Outcome: Bust

2004: Andris Biedriņš (C)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 10

Career Per-Game Stats: 6.3 PPG/7.0 RPG/0.9 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .594 FG%/.000 3P%./500 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2003: Mickaël Piétrus (F)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 10

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.3 PPG/3.1 RPG/0.8 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .425 FG%/.355 3P%/.665 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2002: Jared Jeffries (F)

Original Franchise: Washington Wizards

Seasons Played: 11

Career Per-Game Stats: 4.8 PPG/4.1 RPG/1.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .426 FG%/.250 3P%/.583 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

2001: Kedrick Brown (F)

Original Franchise: Boston Celtics

Seasons Played: 4

Career Per-Game Stats: 3.6 PPG/2.4 RPG/0.7 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .405 FG%/.274 3P%/.640 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

2000: Jérôme Moïso (C)

Original Franchise: Boston Celtics

Seasons Played: 5

Career Per-Game Stats: 2.7 PPG/2.7 RPG/0.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .489 FG%/.000 3P%/.593 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

1999: Trajan Langdon (G)

Original Franchise: Cleveland Cavaliers

Seasons Played: 3

Career Per-Game Stats: 5.4 PPG/1.3 RPG/1.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .416 FG%/.396 3P%/.910 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

1998: Bonzi Wells (G)

Original Franchise: Portland Trail Blazers

Seasons Played: 10

Career Per-Game Stats: 12.1 PPG/4.6 RPG/2.1 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .460 FG%/.327 3P%/.697 FT%

Peak Outcome: Solid Starter

1997: Tariq Abdul-Wahad (G)

Original Franchise: Sacramento Kings

Seasons Played: 6

Career Per-Game Stats: 7.8 PPG/3.3 RPG/1.1 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .417 FG%/.237 3P%/.703 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

1996: Todd Fuller (C)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 5

Career Per-Game Stats: 3.7 PPG/3.0 RPG/0.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .422 FG%/.000 3P%/.668 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

1995: Gary Trent (F)

Original Franchise: Portland Trail Blazers

Seasons Played: 9

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.6 PPG/4.5 RPG/1.0 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .501 FG%/.008 3P%/.643 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

1994: Carlos Rogers (C)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 8

Career Per-Game Stats: 7.4 PPG/4.3 RPG/0.6 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .536 FG%/.258 3P%/.562 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bench Warmer

1993: Allan Houston (G)

Original Franchise: Detroit Pistons

Seasons Played: 12

Career Per-Game Stats: 17.3 PPG/2.9 RPG/2.4 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .444 FG%/.402 3P%/.863 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1992: Robert Horry (F)

Original Franchise: Houston Rockets

Seasons Played: 16

Career Per-Game Stats: 7.0 PPG/4.8 RPG/2.1 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .425 FG%/.341 3P%/.726 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

1991: Terrell Brandon (G)

Original Franchise: Cleveland Cavaliers

Seasons Played: 11

Career Per-Game Stats: 13.8 PPG/3.0 RPG/6.1 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .448 FG%/.355 3P%/.873 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1990: Tyrone Hill (F)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 14

Career Per-Game Stats: 9.4 PPG/8.6 RPG/0.8 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .502 FG%/.000 3P%/.643 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1989: Nick Anderson (G)

Original Franchise: Orlando Magic

Seasons Played: 13

Career Per-Game Stats: 14.4 PPG/5.1 RPG/2.6 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .446 FG%/.356 3P%/.667 FT%

Peak Outcome: Star

1988: Will Perdue (C)

Original Franchise: Chicago Bulls

Seasons Played: 13

Career Per-Game Stats: 4.7 PPG/4.9 RPG/0.8 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .515 FG%/.067 3P%/.577 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

1987: Reggie Miller (G)

Original Franchise: Indiana Pacers

Seasons Played: 18

Career Per-Game Stats: 18.2 PPG/3.0 RPG/3.0 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .471 FG%/.395 3P%/.888 FT%

Peak Outcome: Superstar

1986: John Salley (C)

Original Franchise: Detroit Pistons

Seasons Played: 11

Career Per-Game Stats: 7.0 PPG/4.5 RPG/1.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .506 FG%/.214 3P%/.714 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

1985: Keith Lee (F)

Original Franchise: Cleveland Cavaliers

Seasons Played: 3

Career Per-Game Stats: 6.1 PPG/4.7 RPG/1.0 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .451 FG%/.167 3P%/.746 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

1984: Kevin Willis (C)

Original Franchise: Atlanta Hawks

Seasons Played: 21

Career Per-Game Stats: 12.1 PPG/8.4 RPG/0.9 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .487 FG%/.211 3P%/.713 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1983: Derek Harper (G)

Original Franchise: Dallas Mavericks

Seasons Played: 16

Career Per-Game Stats: 13.3 PPG/2.4 RPG/5.5 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .463 FG%/.354 3P%/.745 FT%

Peak Outcome: Star

1982: Fat Lever (G)

Original Franchise: Portland Trail Blazers

Seasons Played: 11

Career Per-Game Stats: 13.9 PPG/6.0 RPG/6.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .447 FG%/.310 3P%/.771 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1981: Frank Johnson (G)

Original Franchise: Washington Bullets

Seasons Played: 10

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.3 PPG/1.7 RPG/4.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .439 FG%/.218 3P%/.760 FT%

Peak Outcome: Solid Starter

1980: Kiki Vandeweghe (F)

Original Franchise: Denver Nuggets

Seasons Played: 13

Career Per-Game Stats: 19.7 PPG/3.4 RPG/2.1 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .525 FG%/.368 3P%/.872 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1979: Cliff Robinson (F)

Original Franchise: New Jersey Nets

Seasons Played: 11

Career Per-Game Stats: 17.2 PPG/8.3 RPG/2.0 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .468 FG%/.184 3P%/.722 FT%

Peak Outcome: Star

1978: James Hardy (F)

Original Franchise: New Orleans Jazz

Seasons Played: 4

Career Per-Game Stats: 5.7 PPG/5.3 RPG/1.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .481 FG%/.333 3P%/.700 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

1977: Ernie Grunfeld (G)

Original Franchise: Milwaukee Bucks

Seasons Played: 9

Career Per-Game Stats: 7.4 PPG/2.6 RPG/2.0 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .477 FG%/.337 3P%/.770 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

1976: Bob Wilkerson (G)

Original Franchise: Seatle Super Sonics

Seasons Played: 7

Career Per-Game Stats: 10.1 PPG/4.2 RPG/3.4 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .425 FG%/.167 3P%/.751 FT%

Peak Outcome: Solid Starter

1975: Joe Meriweather (C)

Original Franchise: Houston Rockets

Seasons Played: 10

Career Per-Game Stats: 8.1 PPG/5.6 RPG/0.9 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .511 FG%/.333 3P%/.687 FT%

Peak Outcome: Functional Role Player

1974: Jamaal Wilkes (F)

Original Franchise: Golden State Warriors

Seasons Played: 12

Career Per-Game Stats: 17.7 PPG/6.2 RPG/2.5 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .499 FG%/.135 3P%/.759 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1973: Kevin Joyce (G)

Original Franchise: Indiana Pacers

Seasons Played: 3 (ABA)

Career Per-Game Stats: 10.6 PPG/1.7 RPG/3.2 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .410 FG%/.185 3P%/.786 FT%

Peak Outcome: Solid Starter

1972: Ralph Simpson (G)

Original Franchise: Denver Rockets

Seasons Played: 6 (ABA), 3 (NBA)

Career Per-Game Stats: 16.7 PPG/3.7 RPG/3.3 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .441 FG%/.190 3P%/.763 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1971: Curtis Rowe (F)

Original Franchise: Detroit Pistons

Seasons Played: 8

Career Per-Game Stats: 11.6 PPG/7.2 RPG/1.6 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .482 FG%/.000 3P%/.701 FT%

Peak Outcome: All-Star

1970: Jimmy Collins (G)

Original Franchise: Chicago Bulls

Seasons Played: 2

Career Per-Game Stats: 3.8 PPG/0.9 RPG/0.9 APG

Career Shooting Splits: .414 FG%/.000 3P%/.804 FT%

Peak Outcome: Bust

Historical Peak Outcomes

Superstar: 1 (2%)

All-Star: 11 (22%)

Star: 4 (8%)

Solid Starter: 6 (12%)

Functional Role Player: 15 (30%)

Bench Warmer: 2 (4%)

Bust: 11 (22%)

Brief Takeaways

As you can see from the table provided above, becoming a functional role player has historically been the most frequent outcome for the 11th pick. And that might seem like an underwhelming result for the Spurs’ highest original draft selection since Tim Duncan went number one in 1997, but considering bust is the second likeliest outcome, San Antonio would probably be thrilled with the former.

Of course, every prospect is unique, so using historical data to determine what we can expect from any 2020 draft pick is a flawed approach. Still, it’s refreshing to see such a diversity of outcomes for the 11th pick. The last 11th pick to play for the Spurs (Robert Horry) won individual championship rings six and seven with San Antonio, and maybe the next can help PATFO do the same.