Potential draft targets that could be available to the Spurs with the 29th pick

Examining the pros and cons of each non-guard draftee that projects to be available to the Spurs at 29.

This is the fourth article of a five part series covering the San Antonio Spurs’ draft options. Part one discussed the Spurs’ assets that could be packaged together in an attempt to move up in the draft and which teams might be willing to move down. Part two highlighted those players who won’t likely be available to the Spurs at 19 whom the Spurs could be targeting in the draft. Part three highlighted those players who should be available to the Spurs at 19 should they stand pat on draft night. This article will highlight players who should be available to the Spurs at 29 should they stand pat on draft night. The final article will explore trade down scenarios. If this is the first of the series you’re read, you should know that these articles aren’t short.

The table below lists all players whose Average Mock Draft Position (AMDP) is in the 28-39 range, as those players all have a good chance at being available when the Spurs are on the clock with their 29th overall pick. I exexcluded ed point andand combo guards as I believe the Spurs willwill target a swingman or combo forward.

Grant Williams – Junior – Tennessee

Position: PF; Age: 20; AMDP: 28.78

Height: 6’ 7”; Wingspan: 6’ 10”; Weight: 240 pounds

Points: 18.8 on 56.4/32.6/81.9 percent shooting

Rebounds: 7.5; Assists: 3.2; Blocks: 1.5; Steals: 1.1; Turnovers: 2.2

Known draft interest: A workout was planned but unsure if it ever took place.

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • Other than shooting the basketball, Williams was a very productive and versatile player in college. His rebounds, assists, blocks, and steals were all very good for a player of his size.
  • He did shoot 32 percent from distance last season, which shows some semblance of an outside jumper. About the only way I could see him finding success in the NBA is if he tries to mold himself into a PJ Tucker clone. Learning how to hit the corner three consistently would be a great first start.

Cons of drafting:

  • Williams looks exactly like the type of player who can find great success in college but whose game simply doesn’t translate at the next level.
  • He’s undersized at the position he would likely try to fill in the NBA. He doesn’t have any of the skills required to play on the wing so a change in position over time seems unlikely.
  • He’s possesses good strength but unless he is able to prove to teams that he has an incredible sense of how to grab rebounds and box out the opposition I don’t see him being a great rebounder at the next level.

I enjoyed watching Tennessee this year but I never saw Williams and thought “that guy is going to be a great NBA player.” I have major doubts about his ability to contribute in the NBA but he might be worth taking a flier on at 29 depending on how the rest of the draft has gone.

Talen Horton-Tucker – Junior – Tennessee

Position: SG/SF; Age: 18; AMDP: 31.44

Height: 6’ 4”; Wingspan: 7’ 1”; Weight: 235 pounds

Points: 11.8 on 40.6/30.8/62.5 percent shooting

Rebounds: 4.9; Assists: 2.3; Blocks: 0.7; Steals: 1.3; Turnovers: 1.7

Known draft interest: None

White-Walker76’s draft profile: None

Pros of drafting:

  • With a +9 inch wingspan he would give the Spurs some great length on the wing.
  • He’s a very creative, albeit inefficient, scorer. If his skillset can be developed properly – hello Spurs – he could end up being a steal in the draft. It would take a GM with extreme patience and foresight to see the end result though.
  • He’s extremely young and raw so it’s hard to gauge his upside. That’s why his average mock draft position has the second highest standard deviation out of all the players I’m profiling. If the Spurs see something in him that they can develop he might be worth the risk.

Cons of drafting:

  • Even with his great length he’s only 6’ 4” making him a bit undersized to play anything other than guard.
  • He was incredibly inefficient in college and had some of the worst advanced statistics out of all the players I’m profiling.

The Spurs would have to be incredibly patient with their development of Tucker, but long term he could grow into a solid NBA player. I still think there will be better options available to the Spurs at 29.

Dylan Windler – Senior – Belmont

Position: SF; Age: 22; AMDP: 33

Height: 6’ 7”; Wingspan: 6’ 10”; Weight: 196 pounds

Points: 21.3 on 54/42.9/84.7 percent shooting

Rebounds: 10.8; Assists: 2.5; Blocks: 0.6; Steals: 1.4; Turnovers: 2.1

Known draft interest: Had a workout planned with the Spurs. Not sure if it has happened yet.

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • Best shooter in the draft. Has shot 40 percent or better from deep at a high volume in each of his last three seasons. He can also score out of the pick and roll, finish with both hands, and is great moving without the ball. His defensive limitations would likely keep him out of the starting lineup, but he can really excel in a motion offense, which the Spurs typically run with their bench unit. Patty Mills has been the king of the spot up for the Spurs for several years running. With him on the decline, Windler could be the next man up.
  • Plus rebounder at his position. From the tape I saw, he goes hard after the ball and does a great job tipping the ball to his teammates to start a fast break. He has really good timing with his jumps and has a strong feel for how the ball will bounce off the rim.

Cons of drafting:

  • Not very athletic, though that’s never been a sticking point for the Spurs.
  • Opposing offenses tend to force Windler to work through screens, oftentimes resulting in him losing his man. His quickness will be an issue in the NBA. At some point in the draft his offensive skills will be too hard to pass up on but the Spurs really need to be targeting wing defenders in this draft. If they got one at 19 I would not be heartbroken if they took a gamble on Windler at 29 (or possibly trade down into the early 2nd round).
  • He played at Belmont in the Ohio Valley Conference where the competition was slim. Belmont didn’t play a single team inside the top 25 the entire season and some feel his numbers were inflated due to the lack of competition. He did explode for 35 points and 11 rebounds in a two point loss against Maryland in the first round of the NCAA championship. He went 7-14 from deep in that game.

There are going to be a lot of options for the Spurs at this part of the draft. Who they are able to get at 19 will go a long way towards determining who they target at 29. Windler feels like a bit of a reach in the first round but his shooting prowess cannot be ignored.

Daniel Gafford – Sophomore – Arkansas

Position: C; Age: 22; AMDP: 34.1

Height: 6’ 10”; Wingspan: 7’ 2”; Weight: 238 pounds

Points: 16.9 on 66/0/59.1 percent shooting

Rebounds: 8.7; Assists: 0.7; Blocks: 2.0; Steals: 0.9; Turnovers: 2.4

Known draft interest: None

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • He’s a solid rebounder and a true rim runner in the mold of DeAndre Jordan and Clint Capela.
  • His athletic ability is fun to watch and he can be a terror in transition. The Spurs need all the transition players they can get if they hope to break free from their traditionally slow pace and get caught up with the rest of the NBA.

Cons of drafting:

  • Gafford attempted a grand total of zero three point attempts in his two years in college. The Spurs already have Jakob Poeltl, who lacks some of the athleticism of Gafford, but is a far better basketball player.
  • Traditional bigs are no longer a hot ticket item. They can typically be found cheap in free agency as they are too situational in the modern NBA. We’ve seen Clint Capela, Rudy Gobert, and other traditional bigs get exposed in the pick and roll during the playoffs and they are excellent traditional bigs. The strategy now is to space the floor, limiting the impact of rim protectors with limited mobility outside the painted area.
  • Some knocks on him have been his BBIQ and being prone to fouling, two requirements of Spurs players. The foul prevention could likely be taught but the BBIQ is an issue.
  • The Spurs don’t have the kind of pick and roll guru on the roster that is required to best utilize the skillset of a player like Gafford.

I don’t see any reason to invest in a traditional big, especially when there are already better ones on the roster. My draft bucket list consists of a defensive wing and a stretch big. Gafford checks neither of these boxes.

Chuma Okeke – Sophomore – Auburn

Position: SF/PF; Age: 20; AMDP: 34.14

Height: 6’ 8”; Wingspan: 7’ 1”; Weight: 235 pounds

Points: 12 on 49.6/38.7/72.2 percent shooting

Rebounds: 6.8; Assists: 1.9; Blocks: 1.2; Steals: 1.8; Turnovers: 1.7

Known draft interest: None

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • He’s a defensive pest with the versatility to guard multiple positions. At Auburn he was often tasked with guarding the opposition’s best player. He’s got great length and hands and is truly a difference maker on the defensive end.
  • While defense is his calling card, he’s not Andre Roberson on offense (thankfully). He has a solid jumper and was a very consistent outside shooter in college. He also liked to push the ball on offense, to varying results.
  • He tore his ACL in Auburn’s sweet sixteen victory in the NCAA tournament. An ACL injury is never really a Pro except for the fact that it should all but guarantee he will be available for the Spurs to draft at 29. I truly believe he can be one of the steals of this draft even though he will likely have to redshirt his rookie season in the NBA.
  • He has been reported to have a very high BBIQ.

Cons of drafting:

  • He had a heartbreaking ACL tear during the NCAA championship. Injury concerns are always a valid reason for shying away from drafting a player. On the other hand, had he continued his stellar NCAA tournament without getting injured he would have likely been drafted before the Spurs were on the clock.

I really want Robert Covington to somehow end up on the Spurs’ roster. Because of the unlikelihood of that actually happening, the next best thing would be for the Spurs to draft somebody in the same mold as him. I really think Okeke has all the tools to fill that role, though it would likely take a few years for his potential to be realized.

Eric Paschall – Senior – Villanova

Position: SF/PF; Age: 22; AMDP: 34.67

Height: 6’ 7”; Wingspan: 6’ 11”; Weight: 254 pounds

Points: 16.5 on 44.7/34.8/74.6 percent shooting

Rebounds: 6.1; Assists: 2.1; Blocks: 0.5; Steals: 0.7; Turnovers: 2.3

Known draft interest: The Spurs interviewed him at the combine and he was spotted in San Antonio, presumably for a workout.

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • He’s another lengthy combo forward in a draft full of them. The Spurs need length at the wing so he’s an option to fill that role.
  • The Spurs need players who can bring the nasty, and that’s the exact style of play Paschall brings to the court. He has no issues mixing it up with the bigs inside the paint.
  • He’s known for his high BBIQ.

Cons of drafting:

  • He would be a reach at 29 as only one mock draft I saw had him being taken in the first round. Problem is he never fell as low as 49 in any of those mocks, meaning if he is their guy, the Spurs would either have to find a way to trade back or up into the early part of the second round or risk passing up a better player at 29 to draft Paschall.
  • At 254 pounds, he’s a big boy for his height. This makes him more of an undersized big than a wing. The problem is he is not a good interior defender so something is going to have to give if he wants to carve out a roll in the NBA.
  • There’s not a lot of upside to his game. I could never see him being great at anything and his defensive limitations could prevent him from staying on the court.

Paschall had a solid college career at a great basketball program known for providing at least role players in the NBA. A role player is likely his ceiling however and I’m hoping the Spurs are looking to draft players with a higher upside. They don’t currently have a superstar on the roster. The Spurs have a couple young players with great potential but they need to add to that list. Paschall does not check that box for me.

Isaiah Roby – Junior – Nebraska

Position: SF/PF; Age: 21; AMDP: 39

Height: 6’ 8”; Wingspan: 7’ 1”; Weight: 214 pounds

Points: 11.8 on 45.4/33.3/67.7 percent shooting

Rebounds: 6.9; Assists: 1.9; Blocks: 1.9; Steals: 1.3; Turnovers: 2.0

Known draft interest: The Spurs worked him out on two separate occasions.

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • The Spurs have worked him out twice, suggesting there could be real interest.
  • He has an NBA ready body.
  • His ball skills have improved over the years and he is a competent if inconsistent outside shooter.
  • He is a very good defender. He had an excellent Defensive Box Plus Minus on a Nebraska team that severely underperformed and ended up in the NIT. His 1.9 blocks and 1.3 steals help to highlight his versatility on that end, as he’s able to guard players on the perimeter and inside the painted area.

Cons of drafting:

  • Roby was wildly inconsistent last season, though there is some belief that his struggles had more to do with a lack of confidence while playing out of position most of the season than a lack of skill.
  • He was much more consistent in his Sophomore season in a reduced role. Not that he would be asked to take on a primary role with the Spurs anytime soon, but it does call into question his ability to be more than a complimentary piece.

Roby is a popular player amongst several of those who frequent this blog. I can see the intrigue. Roby would no doubt need some seasoning in the G-League but his ability to defend multiple positions could help him carve out a role with the Spurs if he is able to find consistency on the offensive side of the court.

Darius Bazley – Freshman – None

Position: SF/PF; Age: 19; AMDP: 39.17

Height: 6’ 9”; Wingspan: 7’ 0”; Weight: 209 pounds

No statistics because he backed out of his commitment from Syracuse.

Known draft interest: He had a workout with the Spurs.

White-Walker76’s draft profile: here

Pros of drafting:

  • He has the size and showed some flashes at the combine of being a two-way player at the wing position. Would be an incredible risk though given the lack of intel.

Cons of drafting:

  • There’s very little to go on due to his decision to skip college and he underwhelmed scouts at the All-American practices and the Nike Skills Academy.
  • He committed to Syracuse then backed out to play in the G-League before ultimately deciding to work out in private while interning at New Balance.

I have no opinion since I have never seen him play. If the Spurs draft him I’ll trust that they saw something in him that they can develop.

Final thoughts

There should be a bunch of wings available for the Spurs to choose from at 29, and I am pretty high on a few of them. I had originally thought that the Spurs should go wing at 19 and big at 29 but after seeing how a lot of these players are being mocked I have changed my mind somewhat. If the Spurs are looking for both a big and a wing in this year’s draft it looks like selecting one of the bigs discussed in previous articles might be best at 19 then picking best wing available at 29.

Here’s my draft board for the players listed in this article:

  1. Chuma Okeke
  2. Dylan Windler
  3. Eric Paschall
  4. Isaiah Roby
  5. Grant Williams
  6. Talen Horton-Tucker
  7. Darius Bazley
  8. Daniel Gafford

While I had originally talked about this being the final article in this series I have decided to add an article to evaluate possible trade down situations. We already discussed trade up situations, players available to the Spurs if they trade up, players available at 19, and players available at 29. Adding an article discussing the possibility of trading down seems like a logical conclusion.

Potential draft targets that could be available to the Spurs with the 29th pick
Source: Pounding The Rock

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