First of all: IT’S DRAFT DAY, Y’ALL! I’m sure I’m not the only one who is excited, nervous, anxious, and happy all at the same time about what the Spurs will do tonight. Before we get there, though, allow me to welcome you to the last part of my prospect comparisons. Today, we’re going over the only two foreign players that regularly being ranked as first-round talents, as well as three G League players we’ll see drafted.
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.
Comparion: Rudy Gay
The last of three comparisons to an active player I made, Jovic is a big wing/stretch 4 that has guard skills. He measured 6’11” at the combine, but has the ability to put the ball on the floor, get into the paint, and hit pull-ups over defenders. He’s also shown a penchant for knocking down a three or two, having shot 35.6% on 4.7 attempts per game. Basically, what the film shows is a lot of the same offensive maneuvers Gay used as a Spur. Jovic is still learning the game, so there’s plenty of room to grow on both ends.
Comparison: Stephen Jackson
If I haven’t made note of this yet in any of the comparison pieces, the number of 6’8”-6’10” players that had guard-like skills the Spurs have had can be counted on one hand. There were two renditions of Stephen Jackson with the Spurs, but this comparison is focused on the first run, when Captain Jack helped the Spurs win the 2003 title. Right now, Dieng is mostly a playmaker. His ballhandling skills help him beat defenders off the dribble, and he’s able to find the right man to pass to. Shooting wise, there looks to be potential, but his shooting form is a little slow, like Jackson’s was. That’s something he’ll need to work on. On the defensive end, we’ll just have to see how good he can be – his length and athleticism make it seem he can be switchable 1-5.
The G-League Guys
Comparison: Larry Kenon
Beauchamp isn’t quite as tall as Kenon, but his athleticism and wingspan might help make up for that. Shooting isn’t the best part of Beauchamp’s game – it’s really not any part of his game. He took 46 shots outside the paint in the 12 G League Showcase games and made 11 of them, while on the other hand, he made 65 of his 87 attempts from inside the paint. He also didn’t do a lot of creating for himself, as 51 of his 76 made baskets were assisted. It’s this in-the-paint centric offensive game and his rebounding ability at his size that calls for the Kenon comparison. He might never be the all-around scorer that Kenon was, but Beauchamp will be able to get his at times.
Comparison: Antonio Daniels
Finding Antonio Daniels film was impossible, so I used what I could. Hardy is the same listed height and only listed as 3 lbs. heavier than Daniels (198 to 195), so that helped lead to this comp. Game wise? Hardy is a bucket-getting machine, even if he wasn’t the most efficient in doing so. He might not be Ja Morant explosive, but he’s shifty and can get downhill with the best of them, and once he’s around the basket, he has a few crafty finishes in his arsenal. He might not have ever been more than a role player, but at his best, Daniels was able to use his speed to attack the paint and jumping ability to finish strong. Hardy has a few improvements to make to his game to become a starting guard, but at minimum, he can be a spark plug that comes off the bench.
Comparison: Manu Ginobili
Alright, everybody. I made sure to leave this comparison for last. I really tried to avoid putting this kind of pressure on any prospect (I feel comparing somebody to The Admiral isn’t as blasphemous). But here we are. Dyson Daniels is a 6’7.5” lead guard that is known for his defense and facilitating. He can see the floor well and understands spacing enough to make passes that others might not try. The last thing that needs to come for him is his shooting. He’s not quite the shooter Manu was, but he’s not afraid to take them, especially in crunch time. With Daniels, I just see a lot of the intangibles that made Manu such a great player. His are big shoes to fill, which goes for anytime you compare somebody to an all-timer, but if you go down a YouTube rabbit hole of his highlights, you might see his game the same as me. And to be as clear as possible, I have to end with this: There is only one Manu Ginobili.