Months of workouts, interviews and traveling the country finally lead to a night of joy for most NBA hopefuls as they waited to hear their name on draft night. One of the most successful franchises in the NBA were up to their old tricks once again drafting a foreign-born player that could turn into a quality player. Let’s dig into the 2019 San Antonio Spurs Draft.
Grading the 2019 San Antonio Spurs Draft
With the 19th pick, the San Antonio Spurs selected Luka Samanic. Another hidden foreign player seems to always find their way to the Spurs. Standing at 6’11”, he is the type of lanky and skilled big who can shoot the ball, run the floor, and guard against 1-to-5. While comparisons to Kevin Durant seem like a stretch, his skills do resemble KD in aspects. With the Spurs running a similar offense than that of Europe, the transition will seem that it will be easy for Samanic to join the NBA. The Spurs haven’t had a true big man that can stretch the floor and hit the 3 to provide more room to operate for DeMar DeRozan or LaMarcus Aldridge. For any other team, this would be a risk but not for the Spurs.
Draft Grade: B
After the blockbuster trade of Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs drafted at 29. With that selection, they picked up a player most thought would’ve been taken in the middle of the first. Keldon Johnson was invited to the green room as being projected as one of the top players selected in the NBA draft. At 6’6 Johnson he’s an athletic sharpshooting wing. With his size, he’s capable of defending guards but will need to pick up some weight to guard bigger forwards in the league. He’s one of the best 3 point shooters in the draft. The Spurs will love to have DeRozan drive and kick to Johnson. To get a player with starter and lottery pick grades by some is a steal with the 29th pick.
Draft Grade: A
In the second round, the Spurs drafted Mississippi State guard Quinndary Weatherspoon. Weatherspoon was the defensive ace during a four-year career with the Bulldogs. Head Coach Greg Popovich loves defensive type players. Beyond the defense Weatherspoon scored in double figures every season and as a senior put up 18.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 2.8 assists. The guard position wasn’t a pressing need for the Spurs but Weatherspoon was the best player on the board and the Spurs always find a diamond in the second round.
Draft Grade: B
Overall Grade: B+
Per usual, the Spurs had a solid draft. Selecting towards the bottom of the draft every year, somehow the Spurs find players that fit the Spurs culture. Luka Samanic is a long stretch big man that the league is starting to lean towards. Keldon Johnson is a player with lottery pick talent that can add a scoring punch off the bench. Lastly, Quandary Weatherspoon is a defensive minded player that can defend the guard position, that is load in the west.
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