NBA Mock Draft 2.0 – Picking for the Spurs at 9, 20, 25 and 38

The deadline for college players to pull out of the 2022 NBA Draft has come and gone. A handful of players that were listed on the latest edition of the San Antonio Spurs Big Board have decided to go back to school, including 20th overall prospect Terquavion Smith. Following that shake up and factoring in the latest behind the scenes talk, here’s an updated mock draft to get an idea of who the Spurs could end up picking at 9, 20, 25 and 38.

1. Orlando Magic – Jabari Smith

Right now, everyone is convinced that Smith will be the first pick. Given his shooting ability, size, defensive upside and pristine character, he’s a very safe selection. 

2. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jaden Ivey

It’s always difficult to get a read on what the Thunder plan to do in the draft but there’s more and more talk that Ivey is a real candidate to go at No. 2. Sam Presti is known to seek out potential superstars and Ivey might be who he believes in the most. 

3. Houston Rockets – Chet Holmgren

The Rockets would love for Holmgren to fall to No. 3. They have offensive talent on the roster. What they need is a defensive ace. Holmgren can be that guy. 

4. Sacramento Kings – Paolo Banchero

The Kings would be happy to see Ivey rise because he’s a poor fit on their team. In this scenario, they’d be overjoyed with Banchero falling to four. 

5. Detroit Pistons – Shaedon Sharpe

With Cade Cunningham leading the way, the Pistons appear to be headed in the right direction. Since this might be their last pick in the top five for a while, I think Detroit swings for the fences and goes with Sharpe with hopes that this draft’s mystery man develops into a star sidekick for Cunningham. 

6. Indiana Pacers – Keegan Murray

If Murray is on the board, the Pacers would have a difficult time passing on him. He’d instantly be their starting power forward and that would allow Indiana to trot out a modernized starting lineup for the first time in years. 

7. Portland Trail Blazers – Bennedict Mathurin

Mathurin’s stock seems to be rising just enough that he may be out of San Antonio’s reach. That’d be bad news for the Spurs because Mathurin has been No. 5 on the Spurs Big Board since the first edition. 

8. New Orleans Pelicans – Dyson Daniels

Daniels is another player who I think the Spurs really like that might be rising just a little bit too much. His all-around ability on both ends of the court would make him a strong fit in New Orleans. 

9. San Antonio Spurs – Jeremy Sochan

The top eight picks in the mock draft couldn’t have gone any worse for the Spurs. Their top seven players from their Big Board are no longer available and Sharpe is gone too, which would make this pick less valuable in the trade market.

The good news is that Sochan is potentially a very valuable consolation prize. At 6-foot-9 and 230 pounds, his primary position will be power forward. However, he has the mobility to switch onto smaller players and the strength to battle against most centers. His nimble feet, strength, peskiness, intense motor and high basketball IQ give him vast potential on the defensive end.

Offensively, Sochan is a good ball-handler for a power forward and reads the game well. He has adequate court vision and the 19-year-old already makes high level passes. He can hit shots on the move and is bouncy enough to finish at the rim in the NBA.

Sochan’s ultimate value, though, revolves around his jumper. He’s been a sub-30% three-point shooter and a sub-60% free throw shooter at every stop in his basketball life — and again failed to reach those marks last year as a freshman at Baylor. If he can’t become at least a league average three-point shooter, he won’t be more than a role player. On the other hand, if Chip Engelland can work his magic and Sochan’s jumper comes around, he’s going to be a long-time starter who is a perfect fit in the modern NBA. 

10. Washington Wizards – Malaki Branham

Branham is one of the few players left on the board with star upside. The Wizards will jump at that. 

11. New York Knicks – Johnny Davis

Davis plays hard and never lacks moxie. New York will love him. 

12. Oklahoma City Thunder – Jalen Duren

After going with Ivey at No. 2, the Thunder will be thrilled to see Duren drop to 12. He’s a center with an impressively high ceiling. 

13. Charlotte Hornets – Mark Williams

The Hornets need a center in the worst way. With Duren off the board, Williams is the no-brainer at 13. 

14. Cleveland Cavaliers – Jalen Williams

Williams was the big winner of the combine. Don’t be surprised if the Santa Clara standout goes in the lottery.

15. Charlotte Hornets – AJ Griffin

The Hornets will happily stop Griffin’s slide at 15. He has a worrisome injury history but he’s such an outstanding shooter that he won’t drop much further. 

16. Atlanta Hawks – Ochai Agbaji

The Hawks want to get back to the Eastern Conference Finals ASAP. Agbaji definitely classifies as a win-now piece. 

17. Houston Rockets – Ousmane Dieng

Last draft, the Rockets stopped Alperen Sengun’s surprising slide. This draft, they may stop Dieng’s slide. 

18. Chicago Bulls – TyTy Washington

The Bulls could use ball-handling depth and a player who is ready to participate right away. Washington ticks both boxes. 

19. Minnesota Timberwolves – EJ Liddell 

The Timberwolves look to be on the verge of becoming a legitimate problem. They need more players willing to do the dirty work. Enter Liddell, a guy willing and able to do dirty work early and often.

20. San Antonio Spurs – Dalen Terry

In the latest Spurs Big Board, Terry was No. 19. In the next Big Board, he’ll be even higher than that.

Scouts say Terry is interviewing very well and his natural charisma and team-first ways will obviously be attractive to San Antonio, a team that always values character when drafting. While he turns 20 in July and only averaged 8.0 points per game as a sophomore at Arizona, Terry brings a lot to the table as a 6-foot-7 swingman with a 7-foot-1 wingspan. 

Terry is an outstanding passer both in halfcourt sets and in transition. He also limits his turnovers and can be counted on to make the right play. Defensively, he’s very good on the ball and is conscientious away from the ball. Overall, he’s a smart player with impressive physical tools and a good head on his shoulders. 

The worry with Terry is his offensive production. He got a lot of wide open looks and still hit just 36.4% of his three-pointers on low volume. The glass half full view on him is that he willingly and strategically took a backseat on an Arizona squad that was brimming with pro-level talent. That apparent wherewithal makes him appealing to NBA teams because he should be a stout role player from Day 1. Down the line, there’s hope that he could spread his wings more on offense once he’s given the freedom to be a go-to playmaker. If Terry blossoms as a scorer, the rest of his game is complete enough that he could become an indispensable all-around talent. 

21. Denver Nuggets – Tari Eason

I could see the Spurs picking Sochan or Eason — but not both. That’s why they’d pass on him at 20 in this mock draft. 

22. Memphis Grizzlies – Nikola Jovic

Jovic would be another talented player to add to the Grizzlies stable of talented players. 

23. Philadelphia 76ers – Gabriele Procida

The 76ers already have so many mouths to feed that they might opt for a draft-and-stash here. The Spurs would love to get Procida but he doesn’t quite make it to 25 in this mock draft. 

24. Milwaukee Bucks – Jaden Hardy

Milwaukee’s demise this season illustrated their need for more scoring. Hardy is the best scorer still on the board. 

25. San Antonio Spurs – MarJon Beauchamp

There’s a lot of chatter about Beauchamp and the Spurs. According to a source, Beauchamp’s camp has pegged the Spurs as one of their three preferred destinations. Additionally, his camp is saying that Beauchamp is willing to do more time in the G League to continue his development. Since the Spurs have four draft picks, they’ll undoubtedly be on the lookout for players willing to marinate overseas or in the G League for a bit.

After a circuitous few years that included a stint at a junior college, Beauchamp played last season for the G League Ignite. At 6-foot-6 with a 7-foot-1 wingspan, he’s an energy player at this stage of his career. He competes with vigor on the defensive end and thrives as an off-ball cutter on offense. 

Beauchamp has an NBA frame and is one of the better athletes in the draft. Even though he’ll be 22 years old at the start of the season, he appears to still have a lot of potential upside. He was a fourth or fifth option on the Ignite but showed flashes of being able to do a lot more. If the Spurs draft him, expect him to be handed the keys to Austin’s offense in the G League. With a lot of reps, the Spurs may be able to unlock all of his abilities. 

Like Sochan and Terry, Beauchamp’s shooting needs to improve if he’s going to make it. With the Ignite, he hit just 27.3% of his three-pointers. But he’s regarded as a hard worker who hasn’t had a ton of high-level instruction in his basketball career, so there’s hypothetically room for Engelland-led shooting improvement. 

26. Dallas Mavericks – Blake Wesley

The Mavs roll the dice on Wesley, a potential one-on-one scorer with good defensive instincts. 

27. Miami Heat – Trevor Keels

Keels’ rugged play would fit right in with the Heat. 

28. Golden State Warriors – Christian Braun

Braun is one of the few players in this range who looks like he’d be ready to play in the NBA postseason. 

29. Memphis Grizzlies – Kennedy Chandler

The Grizzlies get insurance in case Tre Jones’ brother departs. 

30. Oklahoma City Thunder – Peyton Watson

Watson did next to nothing at UCLA but the Thunder aren’t afraid of projects. 

31. Indiana Pacers – Bryce McGowens

The Pacers need offensive weapons. McGowens isn’t timid on the offensive end. 

32. Orlando Magic – Jake LaRavia

The Magic look to LaRavia as a bench piece who doesn’t need the ball to be productive.  

33. Toronto Raptors – Christian Koloko

The Raptors could use a center. Koloko is likely the best center still on the board. 

34. Oklahoma City Thunder – Ryan Rollins

Rollins is another high upside gamble as a silky smooth scorer. 

35. Orlando Magic – Andrew Nembhard

A dependable point guard would be of instant value to the Magic. 

36. Portland Trail Blazers – Walker Kessler

The Blazers will likely have a hole at center. Kessler’s shot-blocking will earn him minutes early on. 

37. Sacramento Kings – Kendall Brown

Brown tumbles in this mock draft due to work ethic and confidence concerns but he’s big and can jump so he’ll only fall so far. 

38. San Antonio Spurs – Hugo Besson 

After selecting three questionable shooters, the Spurs opt for spacing help by picking Besson. In Australia’s NBL, the native of France exhibited limitless range and a palpable amount of confidence whenever he had a glimmer of daylight. He’s a good enough ball-handler that he might be able to play some point guard in the NBA and the Spurs could really use a point guard who can shoot. 

At the combine, Besson measured nearly 6-foot-6 in shoes and played for Spurs assistant coach Mitch Johnson during the scrimmages. The 21-year-old is not a great athlete but he can make quick-twitch moves with the ball that get him open. His height should also allow him to play shooting guard if he doesn’t make it as a lead guard.

There’s insider talk that Besson might be willing to sign with ASVEL, the team Tony Parker owns in the French league. If that’s true, he’d be a prime candidate for a Spurs draft-and-stash selection at 38. After a season or two at ASVEL, the Spurs would bring him into the fold.