Injuries kept draftees from making Spurs rosters long term.
Welcome to the daily Thread. During the month of June, we are talking NBA Draft. As we lead up to the 2018 NBA Draft on June 21st, we will be revisiting the Spurs draft choices. Today we remember the 2010 NBA Draft.
At this point in Spurs history, drafting in the 20th spot was the highest they had obtained since Tim Duncan went first in the 1997 draft. With that 20th pick, the Spurs chose swingman James Anderson. Unfortunately, Anderson suffered an early injury in his career and spent much of his first season yo-yoing between the Spurs and the D-League affiliate Austin Toros. After his first season he passed on his player option and went into the summer a free agent.
Anderson continued to bounce around looking for a place in the NBA and settling for stints in the D-League, but the San Antonio suited him up again in a Spurs uniform (this time as #11 as his previous #25 was now being worn by Nando de Colo) in 2012. With both Kawhi Leonard and Stephen Jackson nursing injuries, Anderson was again stepping in as a small forward. He was waived again less than a month later.
He continued to struggle to find a home, spending short spans with the Houston Rockets and Philadelphia 76ers before moving internationally into Lithuania, Istanbul, and Russia, where he continues to play.
In the second round, the Spurs drafted Ryan Richards, and English power forward/center. Richards did not join the Spurs as he was rehabbing from two shoulder surgeries. In ten seasons, changing teams eighteen times, Richards has filled his passport playing on Belgian, Swiss, Austrian, Grecian, Hungarian, Iranian, Lebanese, Bahraini, and Macedonian basketball teams.
So, in a year in which the Spurs retained both of their own draft choices, both players suffered what appear to be career-altering injuries.
If 2010 seems a mellow Spurs drafting year, 2011 made up for it in spades.
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Source: Pounding The Rock