FanPost

What I wish the Spurs would do in the 2022 draft.


Not what the FO would do but what i wish they do while still trying to be realistic. I haven't watched videos on any of the prospects so I won't try to predict who they'll draft (it usually end badly even for paid draft analysts anyway), but rather the archetype of players they would pick.
Before that, we need to have a rough understanding of the main parameters.

Draft class outlook

Lot of good defensive centers in the draft (Duren, Kessler, Koloko, Mark Williams) projected in the Spurs range. So they could take the risk of trading Poeltl (like they were rumored to at the deadline) for an hopefully similar player while getting another asset without loosing much in the standing.
Not a lot of big wings.
There seems to be clear separation between the top 3/4 and the rest of the prospects.
That class doesn't appear to be especially strong which of course could be proven wrong one way or another.

Spurs needs

All NBA talent,
Self shot creation behind Murray: the second best passer on the team is Poeltl at 2.7apg.
3 point shooting: outscored from 3 for the last 5 seasons.
Size at the 3 and 4: SA has been out-rebounded for 3 seasons in a row. They are a bit too small: excluding center their only 2 rotation player taller than 6'5 are KBD and McDermott (2,032minutes of the team total of the 15,965 played this season so far).

Last few Spurs drafts:

Take swing on player with high ceiling and high bust potential :
Samanic flashes and all the tools to be dominant.
Walker elite NBA athleticism, self creation and shooting flashes
Primo super young and flash of PG skills needing a lot of reps
Murray very young, very raw, lots of PG skills needing a lot of refinement, elite defensive tool.

Draft approach

The Spurs are in a particular position: multiple picks, enough roster spots (Caecok and Wiesekamp were formally two way, Lonnie might fall victim to the abundance of guards, Landale's contract isn't guaranteed next season) and a focus on rebuilding without any urgency. That gives them the possibility to take risk and even gamble.
They can swing for the fences (Poku, Giddey, Samanic) and select safer prospects. Could be selecting Shaedon Sharpe with their own pick, a safe pick in a center like Kessler (giving them the opportunity to trade Poeltl latter for future assets) and another swing or safer player depending on the board and Spurs scouting evaluation. It would be a bit similar to what they did when they pick Samanic first then Keldon in the same draft. They gamble on Samanic and took a safer prospect in Keldon.

Prospects that fits the bill.

Here is just a short list of prospects that fits the Spurs philosophy, needs and projected to be in their range: Johnny Davis, Jaden Ivey, AJ Griffin, Shaedon Sharpe, TyTy Washington,

With the main parameters establish, let's see what I wish the FO would do.

Keep and use all the picks.

That's my favorite approach for this year.
In a draft that doesn't seem to offer a lot of surefire home run, the more ticket you have the likelier you are to get a winning one. You can take higher risk, knowing that if one bust, it's unlikely they all will. The Spurs don't need to find good role players or even starters, they need to find super star, on a draft like 2022 you probably have to be bold and make risky bets.
Packaging the pick together to move up could be tempting but could prove difficult to do. If the Spurs pick at 7, adding the Toronto and Celtics pick probably won't move them higher than 5, that would be putting all your eggs in one basket for a modest rise. If the FO don't see a guy they love that won't fall to their pick, they probably won't take that road.

Spurs own pick (projected 7)


Keep it, pray it move up a couple of spot (30 % chance to move in the top 4 at the lottery). Probably impossible to move up from 7 to top 4 without including the Spurs own pick next season (like the Doncic-Young trade : top 5 + Dallas next year (top10) for 3rd pick). Even including Murray or Poeltl probably not enough to move up in the top 4.

Toronto and Boston (pick 17 and 20)


Try to move up in the draft by attaching a player to a pick. The most obvious candidates would be:
Richardson considering he doesn't fit the timeline and has an expiring contract.
Lonnie but not sure it is possible since he will be a RFA
Poeltl if they draft a center and he has been in trade rumor at the deadline.
Collins if a team is interested in him and they pick a center
Mc Dermott like Richardson he doesn't really fit the timeline and would interest a lot of play off teams.
They could also includes Langford but he doesn't seem to carry much value as a trade chip.
The FO could also decide to trade one of those player if they can for another pick, probably a future first since drafting 4 players in the same draft might be a bit too much.
I prefer the idea to attach one of them to probably the highest of the Toronto/Celtics pick to try to move up a couple spot. However the problem is that there is no obvious trade partners between 7 and 17.

Possible trade partners

Only two teams between 7 and 17 seems to make sense on paper for a draft day trade with SA:
Charlotte if they still want Poeltl but some center could be available to them around their pick.
Washington if they want to compete around Beal. They could be interested in Richardson or McDermott.
Once the lottery is done, some opportunities might emerge though: OKC or Houston could be open to trade down or up like they did with Sengun last year.

There is of course plenty of other options (trade down, trade this year pick for a future first, trade the picks for a star) and a lot will change till the draft, but I like the idea of the Spurs drafting 3 prospects to maximize their odds of uncovering the star they need. This year team could be better than their record if you believe in their net rating, finding a super star or star in this draft, pairing it with Murray and flanking them with developing rookies (Vassell, Johnson, Primo) could speed up their return to the play offs.

This is fan-created content on PoundingtheRock.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff at Pounding the Rock.