The Spurs are in the Lottery again, but not necessarily in the right part of it, given the top tier players that are sure to go in the first 1-6 picks. That said there is going to be plenty of talent at Pick #12, where the Spurs are choosing. So what are the teams needs? Well for starters, perimeter shooting. The current players are developing that, but not at the volume, and consistency that is needed to remain competitive in today's NBA. Then comes the need for a high intensity, rebounding/defensive big who is prepared to get nasty on the inside (it would also help if they had some stretch capacity). And lastly, they need size at the wing/combo-forward positions. Can they fill all these things in this draft - no - but they can sure try to plug some of the holes in the roster.
My Picks if I were PATFO -
Pick #12: Kai Jones - Jones is a highly mobile big, who stands at 6'11 and has a 7'2" wingspan.
In only 23 minutes per game he averaged the following (approx): 9pts, 4.8 reb, 0.6ast, 0.9blks, 0.8stls at 58%FG, 38%3PT, 69%FT. While these stats don't jump off the page as immediate impact, or even potential All-Star level, his wide skill set and his work ethic (which coaches and scouts have said is unbelievably good) means that he could learn from both Timmy and Poeltl about how to be a big. Jones is one of the biggest boom/bust type players in the draft, but I think this is the one year that the Spurs need to swing for the fences and take a chance on a kid who is either going to be a very good role-player, to someone who is willing to strive to be special. On a team like the Spurs the sky really is the limit for this kid.
Pick #41: Kessler Edwards - is a combo-forward who has good size at 6'8" and a wingspan that is almost 7'0".
Edwards was a focal point for Pepperdine and in 34 minutes of court time he has been averaging (approx): 17pts, 6.8reb, 1.2ast, 1.2blks, 1.0stls at 49%FG, 38%3PT, 88%FT. On the face of it Edwards seems like a good pick to replace Rudy Gay in the combo-forward role. He has true two-way skills, has range, and his FT% shows that isn't a fluke. And he is willing to work hard for space on the floor. he could eventually work his way into being a regular rotation player, who may contend for the 6th man award if given the minutes and opportunity to do so.
Overall, I think that this combo would be perhaps the best compromise of player types in the draft to fit team needs. Are they necessarily the best player available at those spots, possibly not - but I think with the Spurs current roster, and their coaching staff - these two players make more sense than most other combinations. I think that they will fit well with the current young players on the roster.
Imagine a 2nd unit of Tre Jones (PG), Lonnie Walker (SG), Vassell (SF), Edwards (PF), Kai Jones (C) for the next season or two. Remember Poeltl isn't on a super long contract and may end up leaving/being traded by the end of his contract - and Samanic hasn't proven himself to be consistent despite his obvious skills and talent.
Or imagine a twin towers approach where Murray (PG), White (SG), Johnson (SF), K Jones (PF), Poeltl (C) - welcome to the run n gun Spurs.
What do you think? is this a viable draft option, or are there players that the Spurs 'should' draft over these two?