Welcome to Pounding the Rock’s countdown to the NBA Draft Lottery, which is just 6 days away! Each day, we will be running a Mock Draft in Tankathon‘s draft simulator and exploring what the Spurs could do in each of their possible landing spots. Today we are looking at what the Spurs can do with the 6th overall pick. Here are the lottery results:
Orlando once again jumps up a few slots to grab a top three pick. Pairing a top prospect in this draft with Paolo Banchero and Franz Wagner makes for an exciting core. Charlotte wins the Wembanyama sweepstakes and gets to slot him next to one of the best young guards in the NBA in LaMelo Ball. Three tanking teams are punished, as the Piston, Spurs and Trail Blazers all fall out of the top four, but at least Dallas kept their pick this time!
- Charlotte Hornets: Victor Wembanyama — No brainer first overall selection here. The best prospect since LeBron James will land in Charlotte under Michael Jordan.
- Houston Rockets: Scoot Henderson — A floor general to lead the Rockets exciting young core. Henderson would bring a hard nosed, attacking presence to a team that lacked urgency last season. Ime Udoka is going to love Scoot.
- Orlando Magic: Brandon Miller — With the selection of Miller, the Magic have built a core of long wings who can play inside and out. Banchero, Wagner, Miller, Wendell Carter Jr., Markelle Fultz plus their 11th pick in this draft will be a problem in the East.
- Washington Wizards: Amen Thompson — The Wizards are a bit of a wildcard here after firing their GM. I have them going best player available, selecting an elite athlete and passer in Thompson.
- Detroit Pistons: Cam Whitmore — Detroit falls out of the top four and selects the player with the highest upside. Whitmore can jump out of the gym, and would be a nice piece who can compliment Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey as a developmental wing.
So who does that leave for the Spurs to pick at 6th in this Mock Draft? Let’s take a look at some possibilities:
My pick: Jarace Walker, Forward, Houston
The Spurs get a physically imposing player who has an NBA-ready body. At 19-years-old, Walker is 6-foot-8, 220 pounds. He’s a beast on the defensive end, able to bang with big men down low, and athletic enough to stick with guards on the perimeter. Opponents shot 28.9% from the field when being guarded by the Houston wing last season. Offensively, Walker’s best role right now is as a slasher, as well as a roller and finisher in the pick and roll (he made 2/3 of his shots at the rim in college.) He’s a high level passer and would easily slip into a lineup consisting of good playmakers in Jeremy Sochan, Tre Jones and Zach Collins.
He’s not a terrific shooter yet, but has decent touch and mechanics from deep. I buy his shooting upside. The Spurs just need to accumulate some talent at this point and worry about how it all fits together down the line. It’s hard to see a world where Walker isn’t a 10-year NBA player.
GG Jackson: Forward, South Carolina
This would be a reach, but it’s not like the Spurs haven’t been known to reach for guys they like in the past. Jackson is the youngest player in the draft, and it showed at South Carolina this year. He could look uninterested off of the ball and lazy on defense, but towards the end of the year, he started to put a few things together after getting benched. The talent here is incredible. Standing at 6’9” 215 lbs., Jackson can handle, shoot and create his own shot, while being a high level athlete. He has some of the highest upside in the draft, but he will have to prove he has the character to put it to use.
Cason Wallace: Guard, Kentucky
Kentucky guards have one heck of a track record as of late. Tyler Herro, Immanual Quickley, Tyrese Maxey and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander have all overachieved in the NBA and become high profile players. Is Cason Wallace next in line?
Wallace is a strong defensive guard who will be disruptive at the point of attack. He’s more of a combo guard than a floor general, as he only averaged 4.3 assists per game in college. He does keep turnovers low, and is a smart shot taker. Wallace’s offense has come mostly at the rim and in the mid-range, but was a decent catch and shoot player at Kentucky. The draw here is the defense, but there is decent offensive upside as well.
Notable 6th overall picks: Bennedict Mathurin, Josh Giddey, Marcus Smart, Damian Lillard
What do you think, Pounders? If the Spurs fall to 6th in the draft, who would you like to see them pick?
Remember you can watch the Lottery on Tuesday, May 16 at 7:00 PM CT on ESPN.