Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Who Could Be Spurs’ Draftee?

When: 6 p.m. (ET) Thursday
Where: Madison Square Garden, New York
Rounds: Two (60 picks)

The Spurs have three picks (nos. 28, 33 and 58) in the Thursday’s draft. Now, the question is, whom will they draft? That third pick, number 58, is hardly determinable, thus I’m going to assess their most likely selections with 28 and 33. (I would love to get Corey Brewer, can the Spurs somehow obtain, let’s say for that three picks and something, the lottery or the Top 10 pick? That’s not gonna happen.)

It’s known that the Spurs lack some perimeter athleticism - so they primarily need some athletic swingman, either defender or shooter.

So, if I were the Spurs’ GM... here’s my alphabetical list of priorities-players for the draft. (Note: it’s based on the availability of that two picks, 28 & 33, these players are projected to be picked somewhere between spot no. 20 and no. 40. Well, Almond and Fernandez may be available only until no. 25-like.):

-Morris Almond (SG, 6-6, 215, Sr., Rice)
He's an exceptional shooter and "scorer" without being a "volume" shooter. He can spot up in transition and can get himself open and deliver jumpers quickly and efficiently coming off screens.
Hint: No question the Spurs want him. But he’ll be taken before no. 28.
If picked by SAS: Starting SG in 2007-08.

-Aaron Brooks (PG, 5-10, 161, Sr., Oregon)
Top of the circle to top of the circle, he's easily the fastest player in the draft and comparable to any of the speediest players in the NBA. Very few defenders were able to contain him off the dribble in college. He's got a quick release on his jumper, coupled with impressive range and accuracy. No defender would dare go under a screen when he's running pick-and-roll.
Hint: If the Spurs want PG, either he or T. Green.
If picked by SAS: Backing up Tony Parker.

-Wilson Chandler (SF, 6-8, 220, So., DePaul)
He's more "athlete" right now than being anything approaching a polished performer. But that athleticism, nose for the ball (he's one of the best offensive rebounders in the draft pool) and ideal size intrigue at least a couple of teams enough that he could end up being selected in the first round.
Hint: Now here’s the athleticism. Never mind that raw.
If picked by SAS: Spurs trying to make him new Bruce Bowen? If yes, it’ll take some time.

-Daequan Cook (SG, 6-3, 203, Fr., Ohio State)
He's got Nick Young-like power and explosiveness, as well as his ability to finish over defenders. He's a more "catch-and-shoot it than knock-it-down-off-the dribble" jump shooter right now.
Hint: Intriguing for the Spurs’ system as a SG if Almond and/or Fernandez aren’t within reach.
If picked by SAS: Maybe starting SG in 07-08.

-Jared Dudley (SF, 6-5, 219, Sr., Boston College)
He's been a highly productive player for four seasons and has the body, strength, maturity and competitiveness to earn a lot of immediate playing time if he lands with the right franchise. Like Jeff Green, he seems equally comfortably in the low post or 20 feet from the basket.
Hint: Maybe better player than D. McGuire, but do the Spurs want him more?
If picked by SAS: In the rotation, it depends on his readiness/performance whether he’s able to play more or less minutes.

-Rudy Fernandez (SG, 6-6, 175, 22, Spain)
He's proven his ability to score against NBA-level defenders for many years. Like Marco Belinelli, he's comfortable launching from deep or getting out on the break and finishing with gusto in transition. There are those who rate him above N. Young and Belinelli.
Hint: The Spurs want him, but he’ll be taken before No. 28.
If picked by SAS: Starting SG in 2007-08.

-Nick Fazekas (C, 6-11, 235, Sr., Nevada)
He's an exceptional shooter, from the mid range extending to about 19 feet and has more low-post scoring moves than anyone at this position other than Spencer Hawes. He's got exceptional hands and is a much more forceful rebounder than many realize.
Hint: Wow. Would be ideal as TD’s partner in the paint.
If picked by SAS: In the rotation, it depends on his readiness/performance whether he’s able to play more or less minutes.

-Kyrylo Fesenko (C, 7-0, 240, 20, Ukraine)
Athletically (running, jumping and vertical and lateral explosiveness), he's second only to Greg Oden among players in this draft pool that are projected as "fives" once they get to the NBA.
Hint: Awesome to get him next to Tim Duncan.
If picked by SAS: One year of Europe/D-League or kept on the team trying to get some experience in the rotation.

-Taurean Green (PG, 5-11, 173, Jr., Florida)
Was the floor leader on consecutive national championship team, distributing the ball nicely to a bunch of gifted teammates yet showing he was capable of creating offense for himself via penetration or his jump shot.
Hint: He’s a winner and would fit in nicely. I’d give him slight edge over Brooks.
If picked by SAS: Backing up Tony Parker.

-Dominic McGuire (SF, 6-7, 220, Jr., Fresno State)
He's got just enough skill, size and athletic ability to suggest that he's capable of being a multi-position prospect, a la Julian Wright. He's also one of the more underrated rebounders and shot blockers in the draft pool.
Hint: Perhaps head-to-head with J. Dudley, but more fitting.
If picked by SAS: In the rotation, it depends on his readiness/performance whether he’s able to play more or less minutes.

Now, when you know the possibly-Spurs guys, here’s my prediction (based on my gut feeling):

First round, Number 28 - Nick Fazekas
Second round, Number 33 - Wilson Chandler

Or: Daequan Cook (28) and Taurean Green (33).

Good luck, Spurs.

(I’m looking forward to Bill Simmons’ running diary. Why? It’ll be better than his NHL 2007 Draft diary. Definitely.)

Garnett Soap Opera: There’s no better player than KG to counter TD, who is the Suns' biggest obstacle to getting out of the Western Conference playoffs. Amare is too foul-prone and defenseless. Basically, Minny gets Atlanta’s draft nos. 3 and 11, cap-friendly contracts; Hawks get Stoudemire (teaming up with Joe Johnson); and PHX wins Kevin. MAKE THAT DEAL, SUNS! Or they’ll be no rings... (If this deal don’t work, Phoenix plans to trade Kurt Thomas (the only player who could at least partially control TD) and perhaps also deal Shawn Marion (the only player who doesn't need the ball to score and who could defend T. Parker). That scenario would be dream come true for Spurs. Keep on doing mistakes, Suns.)

Posted by Foreigner in CS - Jun 27 2007 8:49PM

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