The Spurs have a storied history of making the most of unfavorable draft positioning, and when you’re routinely competing for championships, lottery caliber prospects rarely reach your range. Believe it or not, San Antonio hasn’t selected in the lottery since Tim Duncan came to town in 1997, but that hasn’t stopped them from producing high-level hoopers.
Take Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker, for example. The 28th and 57th pick of their respective draft, few analysts probably saw productive NBA careers in their future, yet the pair of fleet-footed guards became multi-time All-Stars, champions, and members of one of the greatest Big Threes in NBA history.
Before forcing his way out of the Alamo City, Kawhi Leonard won Finals MVP, back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Awards, and was on his way to legitimate superstar status in the league. Of course, not everyone who comes through the system turns into a future Hall-of-Famer, but with names like George Hill, Kyle Anderson, and Dejounte Murray to their credit, the Spurs boast an excellent developmental structure.
While the Silver and Black have made a habit of cultivating in-house talent, they’ve also churned out quite a few solid role players acquired via trades and free agency. Danny Green, Patty Mills, Bryn Forbes, Jonathon Simmons, Gary Neal, Aron Baynes, and Roger Mason Jr. are just a few of the many San Antonio success stories.
Unfortunately, even the best franchises swing and miss occasionally. For every Bruce Bowen and Tiago Splitter, there’s a James Anderson and Livio Jean-Charles who blemishes the Spurs’ unparalleled track record. Hey, nobody’s perfect, not even PATFO.
Give me one former San Antonio Spur you thought would thrive in Silver and Black but never did.— Noah Magaro-George (@N_Magaro) July 7, 2020
For me, it was Nando De Colo. I truly thought he was going to be the heir apparent to Manu Ginobili.
In your opinion, which former San Antonio Spur didn’t pan out the way you thought they would?
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