Welcome to the Open Thread. During the month of July, we are talking NBA Draft. As we lead up to the 2021 NBA Draft on July 29th, we will be revisiting the Spurs draft choices. Today we remember 2001.
As mentioned yesterday, the 2000 NBA draft was uneventful for the San Antonio Spurs. And although they drafted Manu Ginobili the previous year, he had yet to join the squad. An immediate impact was made in the Alamo City as PATFO drafted an unknown French point guard named Tony Parker with the 28th pick in 2001. As every Spurs fan is aware, his affect was powerful. Forget that he was largely overlooked by 29 NBA teams. Forget that Tim Duncan didn’t even speak to him in his first season. Forget that he rode the pine during the NBA Finals while Speedy Claxton took a larger role. Parker took over the starting point guard position just five games into his first season. He is the slickest member of the Big 3, known for his ability to get to the basket using speed and agility. His 2007 Finals MVP exhibited the shift in Spurs game as their star players aged gracefully.
As mentioned in yesterday’s article, the Spurs traded Cory Hightower for 2 future second round draft choices. The first of those was Robertas Javtokas who was the 56th pick of the draft. Although the Spurs retained his rights until his 2017 retirement, he never played in the NBA.
The Spurs also retained their own 58th draft pick and chose Bryan Bracey from the University of Oregon. Bracey played ten games in the D-League before spending the majority of his career overseas.
Three players, but only one made the cut. And what a wonderful career that one player had.
Next up: 2002, a year of trades lead the the acquisition of Speedy Claxton.
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