Planning Out The 2024 Draft For The San Antonio Spurs

June 13th, 2024

by Alan Lu

The San Antonio Spurs had a tremendous individual season from Rookie of the Year award winning center Victor Wembanyama, who is a super athletic and skilled 7 foot 4 big man that can do anything on a basketball court. They also have the legendary head coach Gregg Popovich on top of that. Together, Popovich and Wembanyama are sure to continue to do great things together. However, the Spurs’ season collectively wasn’t great, as their win loss record was 22-60 this year, and they wound up missing the playoffs, but most of that can be attributed to the Spurs being a rather young and inexperienced team that still has growing pains to go through.

They do have some talent to work with though. They have some solid wing players in Keldon Johnson, Devin Vassell, as well as a point forward in Jeremy Sochan, who can provide plus-level playmaking and defensive skills. Tre Jones has been a steady game manager and has proven to be a solid second round pick for the Spurs, as he’s a pesky point guard that can defend, and although he’s not an elite shooter or scorer, he’s shown to be a solid rotational point guard.

Gregg Popovich and Victor Wembanyama has the Spurs fan base excited for the future. In addition, Wembanyama won the Rookie of the Year award, and was named to the NBA’s All-Defensive First Team this year. (Photo: David J. Phillip/Associated Press)

First and foremost though, they will need to continue to build around Wembanyama. He is their franchise player, and he is a 7-4 star that will be extremely good in the NBA for a long, long time. The Spurs could use somebody that can consistently throw a lob pass to Wembanyama, and someone who can get him the basketball. But they also need to add a player that will be there for the long haul, but also fit his skill set. Therefore, they could also use someone that can capably shoot and pass the basketball.

At 4, Rob Dillingham would be the sensible pick here. Rob Dillingham is a dynamic, athletic playmaker that can be the primary ball handler and shot creator for himself and his teammates. He can create and get his own offense, but he also is a skilled playmaker that can get his teammates the basketball. So, if he’s on the board, he would most likely be the pick here for the Spurs. Reed Sheppard would also be a good option if Dillingham is not there on the board.

Otherwise, they also could opt to take a point guard at 8. If they go best player available regardless of position at 4, then they could look to see which player drops between Dillingham, Sheppard, Stephon Castle, and Nikola Topic at 8. Stephon Castle would be the defensive stopper at the point of attack, while Nikola Topic could be a tall, savvy lead ball handler that can generate offense for himself and others, although Topic is currently injured. If the move is to take a point guard at 8, then at 4, they could then go in any number of directions.

Cody Williams, Ron Holland, Matas Buzelis, and Dalton Knecht could be interesting options at either 4 or 8, but the most important thing would be to get playmakers in this draft, so they could opt to use both picks to select guys that could really move that basketball, which would be players that can get Wembanyama the basketball. Dalton Knecht could be an interesting option, as he’s a polished player that can shoot and score the basketball, and while his advanced age may have teams concerned about his upside, he could step in and make an impact right away.

At 35, a 3 and D guy with upside could be a useful role player for the Spurs, and Cameron Christie could be that guy.

So after doing several test runs, here is who I picked in the ESPN NBA Mock Draft Simulator for the Spurs in these.

Test Simulation #1:

A mock draft board for the San Antonio Spurs.   Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the San Antonio Spurs. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Test Simulation #2:

A mock draft board for the San Antonio Spurs. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the San Antonio Spurs. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Test Simulation #3:

A mock draft board for the San Antonio Spurs. Second test simulation.  Image courtesy of Fanspo.
A mock draft board for the San Antonio Spurs. Second test simulation. Image courtesy of ESPN Analytics.

Rob Dillingham would be a very good pick, as he is an athletic, skilled playmaker that could project to be a dynamic offensive player that can shoot, create, and maybe add above average defensive skills. At 8, Stephon Castle would be an interesting option, as he is a very athletic swingman that can really defend, although question marks about his jump shot may make the fit a bit curious, especially since the Spurs will need shooters to help optimize their team around Wembanyama. But if Castle can develop a passable jump shot, and in the NCAA Tournament, it suggests he can, then he could be a great pick at 8 if available.

Matas Buzelis and Cody Williams also would be interesting upside picks, Buzelis especially, as he is a 6-11 forward that has versatility and a wide range of skills and have a solid two-way game, but both guys will need to be more consistent from the outside. Dalton Knecht would be a great pick from a fit standpoint at 8 and even is a candidate to be selected at 4, as he can really shoot and score the basketball, and if he’s on the board, he would theoretically fit in well with Wembanyama. If Knecht isn’t available, Ja’Kobe Walter is also another guard that could fill the shooter and scorer role and is a good athlete with some handles, so he might be a pretty good fit for the Spurs, although his lack of elite playmaking or defensive skills could make him seem to be a bit of a reach considering the talent available.

Also, if the Spurs were to want to draft a center at 4 or 8, Donovan Clingan would be an option, as he is a very tall, energetic center that is a tremendous shot blocker that excels at rim protection and projects to be a polished player that can contribute right away, and would be a big-bodied center that can match up against size, but his fairly limited offensive skills suggest that he is not likely going to be a dynamic offensive threat at the NBA level. Also, Ron Holland from a talent, skill set, and upside standpoint is definitely worth considering at 8 as he’s an extremely athletic, high-motor swingman that has a terrific motor and two-way potential, but his poor shooting this year in the G-League might make him at best a curious fit for the San Antonio team they have right now, so if they were to pick him, they would have to be patient in working with him.

At 35, Cam Christie and Justin Edwards would be athletic swingmen that project well into a 3 and D role. For Terrence Shannon Jr., he would be a very athletic swingman that can provide immediate shooting and scoring, and I feel he would be a great value pick, especially since he was found innocent today. Also, Baylor Scheierman and Tyler Kolek are guys that can shoot and pass the basketball, and would be guys worth considering at 35, and Kolek would be a sound pick especially if a point guard was not selected earlier at either spot. In addition, Harrison Ingram also could be someone to consider at 35, as he is a strong, mobile combo forward that has shown an improved jump shot, and he is a good playmaker, especially for a player his size, so his offensive skills could complement the Spurs well.

The simulator didn’t let me make a pick at 48, because they incorrectly had Sacramento as making a selection there when San Antonio has that pick in real life, but basically for the Spurs, the idea would be to pick players that shoot and defend well, can fit into a team system, and could grow with Wembanyama.

Anyways, the NBA draft will be held on June 26 and 27. Make sure to keep an open mind, and always approach things civilly. Thanks for reading.

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