Welcome to Pounding the Rock’s countdown to the NBA Draft Lottery, which is just 5 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. Yesterday San Antonio selected Jarace Walker at 6th. Today we are looking at what the Spurs can do with the 5th overall pick. Here are the lottery results:
Fun fact: when I did the lottery spins, San Antonio finished first three times in a row (eyeball emoji!!) Tough break for the Spurs here, who are the only team to fall out of the top 4, replaced by Portland who will pick first overall. Everything else here is standard, which would make picking 5th sting just a little bit more for Spurs fans.
- Portland Trailblazers: Victor Wembanyama – Congratulations, Damian Lillard. You can stop running toward the grid, and celebrate having a second star to play with. Can’t think of a better player to pair Wemby with than Dame, not a bad landing spot for the Frenchman.
- Detroit Pistons: Brandon Miller – The presence of Cade Cunningham and Jaden Ivey probably means that Scoot Henderson doesn’t make a lot of sense here. The Pistons get another player who dominated the NCAA on their squad.
- Houston Rockets: Scoot Henderson – The second straight mock where Scoot ends up in Houston. The Rockets would be stoked if they could grab the second best player in the draft at three.
- Charlotte Hornets: Jarace Walker – This was a tough one. Amen Thompson is the better prospect, but his fit next to LaMelo Ball does not make a lot of sense. The Hornets are closer to the playoffs than not and may look to add someone on the wing who is a little bit more NBA-ready.
With the Spurs on the board, there is a clear cut choice at number 5.
My pick: Amen Thompson, G/F, Overtime Elite
Thompson is clearly the best talent available, and a steal at the fifth pick. Mentioned above, he has some overlapping skills with Ball. He’s a 6-foot-7 point guard who make high level passes, and can be the lead ball handler on offense. He is one of the best athletes in the class, bursting out in transition for easy layups and blowing by defenders in the half court. He has high defensive upside with long arms and the ability to chase down ball handlers if they are able to get past him. At this point, he’s not a strong shot creator or three-point shooter, but all of the other tools give him legit superstar upside. You can read more about him here.
Ausar Thompson: G/F, Overtime Elite
The “lesser” of the two Thompson twins is a bit of a swiss army man at the moment. Not as strong of an athlete and playmaker as his brother, but he makes up for it with elite defensive upside and stronger shot creation abilities. He was the Overtime Elite’s MVP and Final’s MVP last season and shot the ball a lot better down the stretch for the City Reapers. Where he goes depends on how teams feel about his upside, which seems to be limited because of the lack of elite skills he’s shown. You can read more about him here.
Cam Whitmore: G/F, Villanova
Whitmore can jump out of the gym, and has shown flashes of a go-to scorer. He’s explosive in transition and in the half court, but wasn’t a consistent high level producer at Villanova. At this point, you can’t rely on him to lead an NBA offense due to his lack of playmaking ability (he had a negative assist to turnover ratio.) But he’s still only 18-years-old, and will be one of the youngest guys in the draft class. You’re banking on the flashes he’s shown to become more consistent, and for his playmaking skills to catch up with his NBA ready physical tools.
Notable 5th overall picks: Jaden Ivey, Trae Young, De’Aaron Fox, Dwyane Wade, Kevin Love
What do you think, Pounders? If the Spurs happen to fall to 5th 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.