Welcome to Part Two of my Draft Prospect to San Antonio Spur comparison piece. Today, we’ll be checking out some of the guards that are in play for the Spurs to take. And while they’ve been stocking up at this position for seemingly forever, the trade of Derrick White and possibility of Lonnie Walker IV not being on the team going forward opens PATFO up to potentially going for another in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Here are my disclaimers from Part One:
Disclaimer No. 1: These aren’t perfect. The game has changed so much over the years, which will be evident in the videos I add for the Spurs player I’m comparing the prospect to, so some imagination will be necessary.
Disclaimer No. 2: Some footage was harder to find than other when it came to the Spur I was comparing the prospect to, so I included what I felt best.
Comparison - Derek Anderson
Mathurin burst onto the scene as a key piece on one of the best teams in the NCAA this year, especially when he scored 30 on TCU, which included one of the best dunks of the year and a pull-up three to send the game into overtime. That game was a glimpse into the explosive scoring guard Mathurin might be at the next level, and while the Spurs haven’t had a ton of explosive athletes like him, Derek Anderson was one of them. He may have only spent one season in San Antonio, but in that season, he was the Spurs’ second-leading scorer at 15.5 points per game (and perhaps if not for Juwan Howard separating his shoulder in the playoffs, the Spurs might have put up a better fight against the Lakers in Conference Finals). Back to Mathurin. We’ll see what kind of defender he can become, but his athleticism and toughness make it hard for me to believe he won’t become a solid perimeter defender at minimum.
Comparison: Avery Johnson
For most point guards that played in previous eras, you’ll find shooting is not a big part of their game. That makes it harder to pinpoint what older players the modern point guards should be compared to. With Chandler, besides the similar stature to The Little General, he possesses a quickness and understanding of court spacing to be what some consider a “true” point guard. It may not seem like much, but his 4.7 assists per game were good for fifth in the SEC. He also was second in the conference in steals per game at 2.2. Maybe had Avery played in this new age of basketball, we would’ve seen him shoot more than 137 threes throughout his time as a Spur (Chandler shot 128 threes in one season at Tennessee).
Comparions: Johnny Moore
TyTy and Chandler’s film look pretty similar to me, so I probably could have gone either way here. I chose to compare TyTy to Moore because of the size and quickness difference. The stats favor Chandler, mostly due to TyTy having to play off the ball more due to Sahvir Wheeler playing alongside him. He’ll need to become a more consistent deep shooter to elevate his game in the NBA, but he’s shown that he can play on and off the ball, as well as being a solid defender.
Comparison: Alvin Robertson
At 6’4.25”, Wesley is a shifty combo guard that could create a shot seemingly whenever he wanted to. His ballhandling is one of his best skills, which allowed him to slice to the basket at will. At the next level, Wesley could become a monster in transition while he continues to round out the rest of his offensive game. He might not be a leading scorer on a team, but neither was Robertson (outside a couple transition years for the Spurs). Wesley should end up being a good secondary creator/scorer, or quite possibly a quality sixth man.
Comparison: George Gervin
The enigma of the draft, Sharpe is the hardest player to scout because there’s just not much film of him playing against stronger competition. This is the eye test to define all eye tests, and given how things break, can change the future of what NBA prospects do before entering the draft. It’s just hard to ignore what his game does show, even at a lower level. While he measured at 6’5.25”, which isn’t quite as tall as the Iceman, he explodes off the ground to finish strong at the rim. And when I saw some of the clips of his pro day, I saw that he looks more like if Gervin took steroids than Gervin himself. It’s hard to take anything away from these pro days – he may not end up being the player analysts have made him to be. But what is there on film is a silky-smooth scoring guard/wing, and if he reaches even 75% of his potential, we’re looking at somebody who will be averaging 20-plus points per game.
Comparison: Derrick White
Up until this point, I tried to make comparisons to players out of the league (LaMarcus Aldridge has been the only active player so far, and I have one more active player coming later). It’s just hard for me to not see Derrick White in Johnny Davis. He’s slightly taller according to their combine measurements, but their game is very similar. Davis is somebody who can play both on and off ball, is a tough-nosed defender, and can be a little streaky. He, like Derrick, won’t blow teams away with their athleticism, but he understands how to get where he wants on the court. One of his biggest strengths this season for Wisconsin, apart from his scoring, was his ability to rebound. His 8.2 rebounds per game was fifth in the Big 10, and it helped lead to him being named their Conference Player of the Year. Wherever he goes, he’ll be able to produce – which is the kind of player Derrick is (even if Derrick might make his team’s fans upset from time to time).