After a string of picks categorized as draft and stash, the San Antonio Spurs have excelled in recent years turning back end of the first round guys in to rotation players. Tiago Splitter I suppose was a bit of both, then there was George Hill, then DeJuan Blair who was actually a second round pick. More recently Cory Joseph has shown he's at least a back up caliber point guard. This year their draft position will be no different. Now that the college season is over for all but four teams, we may be getting an idea of who the Spurs might be targeting.
According to Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, general manager R.C. Buford himself was in town last month presumably to have a look at freshman center Steven Adams (H/T to Dan McCarney for the link).
San Antonio general manager R.C. Buford was at the Petersen Events Center in March for Pitt’s home finale against Villanova. Adams did not play in the game because he sprained an ankle in practice the day before. NBA scouts visit Pitt home games often, but a general manager is more noteworthy.
All season long Adams was thought of as a top prospect for next year's draft because of how raw he looked this year. However, he declared for this year's draft earlier this week. The 19 year old from New Zealand finished the season averaging 7.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and two blocks in 23 minutes per game and one creepy mustache. Those aren't earth shattering totals but he's already a very good defender and he's really athletic for his size. He also had his best game of the season in the Panthers' second round loss in the NCAA Tournament to Final Four team Witchita St. In that game, Adams scored 13 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.
He's definitely a project, but his size, athleticism and defensive ability suggests he would at worst be an Omer Asik type player. The Spurs also employ Sean Marks, Adams' fellow countryman, so there'd be a certain comfort level for him in San Antonio. Right now he's ranked 27 on ESPN's Big Board and 20 on Draft Express'. Maybe a trade would need to be worked out, maybe he falls to the Spurs at pick 28 or 29. We'll see, his workouts will go a long way on where he might go in the draft.
Do you like them going after another big man or would you like to see them take a wing to go behind Kawhi Leonard? Let us know in the comment section.