Nick Popio | June 18th, 2019
The San Antonio Spurs are coming off a 48-34 campaign as the seven seed in the Western Conference. They enter the biggest offseason in recent memory with burning questions just like any other team in the league. With two selections in round one, San Antonio can afford to trade up if they so choose to or stay put. Whatever decisions are made will undoubtedly be viewed as franchise-altering for the foreseeable future. Here’s a peek at what the Spurs can accomplish this Thursday night in Brooklyn.
Round 1 Pick 19-Matisse Thybulle SG/SF Washington
The best defender in the country after receiving the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year and Lefty Driesell Awards. 126 steals in 36 games last season. Seems to be in the right place at the right time defensively in Washington’s zone scheme. 6’6” with a 7’0” wingspan that allows him to reach out and get blocks on a consistent basis. Thybulle looks like a Spurs type of player that can make the leap to find a spot on the roster. Shot 41% from three as a sophomore, while only shooting 31% as a senior. Never averaged more than 11 points per game in his Huskie career.
Pick 29-Luka Šamanić PF/C Croatia
General Manager R.C. Buford traveled overseas to watch him play, which is a tell-tale sign of the interest in him. Earned rave reviews for his performance at the combine. Smooth ball handler and shooter for his size. Can take defenders off the dribble on his way to the basket. Possesses a nearly nine-foot standing reach. Would fill a need as a backup behind LaMarcus Aldridge and Jakob Poeltl. Needs to add some bulk to his growing body. The competition will be tougher after making the transition to the NBA. Can Samanic play right away or will he be a Euro-stash for the future in San Antonio?
Round 2 Pick 49-Zylan Cheatham SF/PF Arizona State
Cheatham is a very hard worker on both sides of the court. He improved his three-point shooting in one season to 44% as a senior in Tempe. Not afraid to battle for rebounds against taller players. Can create for himself or his teammates when the ball is in his hands. Explosive dunker as well. His work ethic sets him apart from other prospects and will give him a better shot to make a roster in the NBA. Sat out a year because he transferred from San Diego State. Only average 12 per contest as a senior though. A tweener who’s size will also be a question mark when guarding taller players in the league.
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