Welcome to Pounding the Rock’s countdown to the NBA Draft Lottery, which is now only a week 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, beginning with the 7th overall pick today. After about 10-15 times running the simulator (not that I counted), the Spurs finally landed at 7th, and here were the results:
Wow. This looks Adam Silver’s pet project and the anti-tanker’s dream. The bottom FIVE teams (Pistons, Rockets, Spurs, Hornets and Trail Blazers) all fall to their worst possible slots, and the Mavs’ extremely late tank job backfires as they lose their top-10 protected pick. At the same time, the Magic and Thunder get the top two picks for the second year in a row (which should not be allowed IMO), with OKC defying some extreme odds to get to second, showing it can still pay off to play for the play-in.
- Orlando Magic: Victor Wembanyama — Because of course, plus he’d be a nice paring with Paolo Banchero, if any more reason is needed.
- Oklahoma City Thunder: Scoot Henderson — Quite the backcourt pairing with Shai Gilgeous-Alexander to form a formidable Big Three with a healthy Chet Holgren.
- Washington Wizards: Amen Thompson — With Kristaps Porzingis looking to return, they don’t need a forward, so I’m going with a ball-handler to pair next to Bradley Beal (who always seems to be on the trading block anyways).
- Indiana Pacers: Brandon Miller — The Pacers are in need of a power forward, so they take the best available after Wemby.
- Detroit Pistons: Jarace Walker — Walker is a burley, defensive-minded forward who can also make things happen with the ball. Sounds like a Detroit Bad Boy in the making to me!
- Houston Rockets: Cam Whitmore — Houston needs shooters and already have a promising young PF in Jabari Smith, plus there’s also rumors of a James Harden return. Whitmore brings shooting and versatility to the wing without interfering with those two positions.
So who does that leave for the Spurs to pick at 7th from this Mock Draft? Let’s take a look at some possibilities:
My pick: Taylor Hendricks: PF, Central Florida
Arguably the second-best shooter coming out of the college level behind Miller, Hendricks is already an excellent defender, has huge offensive upside, and a growing play-making game, especially in the pick-and-roll. He’s currently one of the fastest rising prospects in the draft and ranges anywhere from the mid-to-late lottery in most mock drafts. He’s not the biggest name in this star-studded class, but he could be the biggest steal.
Ausar Thompson: SG/SF, Overtime Elite
A 6’7” swingman who plays some point guard, the athleticism and physical gifts to be an elite defender are there for the lesser of the two Thompson twins, but his offensive game needs plenty of work. The Spurs wouldn’t be counting on finding a franchise player at this point, so a project with high upside wouldn’t be a bad way to go. (Jacob Douglas has already done an excellent breakdown on Ausar, so if you haven’t seen it already, so be sure to go check it out.)
Anthony Black: PG, Arkansas
Another oversized PG at 6’7” and riser in mock drafts, he’s a versatile and switchable defender and tall playmaker who sees the floor with some Manu-esq vision. There’s room to improve as a shooter, and his ceiling might be more as a glorified sixth-man than a starter, but he would be an instant glue guy who would add plenty of depth and versatility to the Spurs’ bench unit.
Notable 7th overall picks: Steph Curry, Lauri Markkanen, Julius Randall, Jason Williams
What do you think, Pounders? If the Spurs happen to fall all the way to 7th 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.