Final Spurs Big Board for the 2023 NBA Draft

Most of the suspense ended for the San Antonio Spurs the moment they won this year’s draft lottery. With Victor Wembanyama coming to town, it’s difficult to get too excited about anything else that happens during the 2023 NBA Draft.

That said, there are persistent rumors that the Spurs are trying to acquire a second pick in the first round. Additionally, the Spurs have the 33rd and 44th overall picks in the draft.

In the final Spurs Big Board, I’ve ranked the prospects in order from San Antonio’s perspective based on what I’ve heard. Click on a player’s name to read a more extensive breakdown.  

1. Victor Wembanyama

All’s right with the universe because the Spurs have a generational big man to build around once more. 

2. Scoot Henderson

Wembanyama and Henderson would be an exciting duo. Alas, it won’t happen. 

3. Anthony Black

4. Kobe Bufkin

For a few weeks now, these are the two names I’ve heard most often when discussing with league sources the possibility of the Spurs trading up for a second first round pick. Black is a big point guard who passes, defends and makes smart plays. Bufkin is a rapidly improving combo guard who is great at finishing at the basket and can knock down three-pointers. 

5. Amen Thompson

Dating back before the NBA draft lottery, there were rumblings that the Spurs really like the Thompson twins. Of the two, my guess is the Spurs like Amen more. He’s still raw but he’s sensationally athletic and has an all-around skillset. 

6. Bilal Coulibaly

Coulibaly just keeps rising and rising on the Spurs Big Board. In this final edition, I’m placing him sixth. Coulibaly is the type of young prospect the Spurs have valued recently and Wembanyama says he really, really wants to play with him. If the Spurs trade up in the first round and Coulibaly is still on the board, they almost have to take him, right?

7. Ausar Thompson

In a godforsaken parallel universe where the Spurs didn’t win the Wembanyama lottery, an Overtime Elite told me he was convinced that San Antonio would have chosen Amen or Ausar — and that wasn’t the first time I heard that. 

8. Cason Wallace

On the first Big Board, Wallace was tenth. At the end of the road, he moved up a couple spots. Wallace is a stout defender with a sneaky amount of offensive upside. Specifically, he may be a much better scorer and playmaker than he exhibited in college.

9. Jarace Walker

In theory, Walker fits really well next to Wembanyama. He’s big, multi-positional and plays a winning brand of basketball. 

10. Taylor Hendricks

Hendricks’ combination of three-point shooting, shot-blocking and potential playmaking upside down the road make him a certifiably intriguing lottery prospect.

11. Cam Whitmore

Whitmore has stumbled to the finish line. He’s a powerful athlete with vast scoring potential but it’s difficult to overlook how poorly he passed the ball as a freshman. 

12. Brandon Miller

Miller will either be the second or third pick in the draft. However, due to his off-court issues, the Spurs will stay away. 

13. Jalen Hood-Schifino

If the Spurs trade up to draft Hood-Schifino, it’s because they view him as a supersized point guard whose pick-and-rolls prowess and defensive potential is a perfect complement to Wembanyama.

14. Keyonte George

George can create shots for himself and could potentially turn into a modern score-first point guard. He needs time to learn and grow but for the time being he’d make a quality pairing with Tre Jones at the point guard position. 

15. Jaime Jaquez Jr.

On paper, Jaquez is exactly the type of player the Spurs need. He’s smart, tough and can be impactful offensively in a variety of roles. Unfortunately, it looks like his stock has risen to the point that the Spurs can’t get him at 33. 

16. Ben Sheppard

Sheppard would be a classic Spurs pick. His game is very mature. He played really well at the pre-draft combine. He interviews well. He’d fit a role early but still has enough upside to be interesting.

17. Olivier-Maxence Prosper

Prosper is a big wing who plays defense with all of his heart and soul. He’s also an improving offensive player. At the combine, Prosper was arguably the best player on the court. 

18. Rayan Rupert

Rupert is a Frenchman who has the same agent as Wembanyama. He’s an extra long wing defender who has some potential in terms of ball-handling and passing.

19. Colby Jones

Jones is a really well-rounded prospect. He can pass, shoot, score, run an offense and defend wings. If he would have played at the combine, he’d probably be a few spots higher on this Big Board.

20. Kris Murray

Murray wouldn’t be the world’s most exciting pick but it’s easy to picture his role in the NBA. He’d defend, space the court and be counted on to make the right play. 

21. Jordan Walsh

According to a source, the Spurs were really impressed when they had Walsh in for a workout. He’s a wing with exceptional length who looks like a future defensive stopper. Considering that Walsh is the only player I’ve heard who impressed the Spurs during a workout this year, that has to be worth something. 

22. Amari Bailey

When I ask opposing scouts to predict who the Spurs will pick in the second round, Bailey is the name I hear the most often. He’s a crafty left-handed point guard prospect who came on late in the year as a freshman and then carried that momentum forward to the combine scrimmages. 

23. Gradey Dick

24. Jordan Hawkins

25. Jett Howard

26. Brice Sensabaugh

San Antonio was such a poor defensive team last season that it’s difficult to imagine the Spurs going with a one-dimensional shooter in this draft. These four prospects can all shoot the synthetic leather off the ball but I question their fit due to defensive reasons. 

27. Noah Clowney

Clowney has potential as a floor spacer and a defender in the paint. If he reaches that potential, that’d be a lucrative combination in today’s league. 

28. Dereck Lively II

Lively is a really good defensive prospect. The center could be outstanding on that end of the floor. His offense is unsightly, though, which makes him an iffy partner for Wembanyama. 

29. Leonard Miller

Miller has such a raw game that it’s difficult to know where to put him on this Big Board. He was productive with the G League Ignite but he has a lot of flaws he needs to fix before he’s ready for the limelight. 

30. Brandin Podziemski

Podziemski is small, not overly athletic and his shot doesn’t look especially pure. That said, he was highly productive last season as a sophomore. In all facets of the game, he produced jaw-dropping numbers. Do you believe your eyes or do you believe the numbers? We’ll see what the Spurs do if he’s available at 33. 

31. Seth Lundy

Lundy could be in the mix at 33 or 44 — especially if he’s willing to sign a two-way contract. He’s an interesting shooting prospect who shot it extremely well at the combine. 

32. Kobe Brown

Brown is a burly forward who can pass, shoot and score. It doesn’t take long watching him to realize he really understands how to play the game the right way. 

33. Sidy Cissoko

Another French prospect, Cissoko starred as a wing defender and transition scorer with the G League Ignite. 

34. Dariq Whitehead

Whitehead is a former five star recruit who has had two foot surgeries in the last year. If San Antonio’s doctors clear him, he’d be a strong value pick at 33. 

35. Marcus Sasser

Sasser is a guard who shoots a lot of threes, plays tough D and limits his mistakes. His history of winning should also attract the Spurs. 

36. Nick Smith Jr.

Smith really struggled as a freshman. He was a top tier recruit who didn’t look the part. To pick him, the Spurs would have to fall in love with his high school tape. 

37. Andre Jackson Jr.

Jackson is a superb athlete who can do a little bit of everything. He also has an amazingly high basketball IQ. Unfortunately, he can’t shoot and his form is hideous.

38. Julian Phillips

Phillips is a big wing defender who struggled on offense as a freshman … but there were hints that he could figure things out offensively. 

39. Maxwell Lewis

Lewis is a wing with a high scoring ceiling. There were question marks regarding his effort level last season, which is enough for me to doubt the fit in San Antonio. 

40. James Nnaji

Nnaji is a long, strong, athletic center prospect. His actual basketball skills need a lot of work, though. 

41. Trayce Jackson-Davis

Jackson-Davis can’t shoot and is small for a center but he was supremely productive last season. At 44, he’d certainly classify as a value pick. 

42. Julian Strawther

Strawther is a shooting prospect who should stick in the league if he can be an average-ish defender. 

43. Ricky Council IV

This is where the draft drops down a bit. The rest of these guys are only really draftable if they agree to sign a two-way contract. Council played great defense at the combine and has some scoring upside. 

44. Hunter Tyson

Tyson is tall and athletic for a shooting prospect. That said, he didn’t emerge until his fifth season at Clemson. 

45. Adama Sanogo

Sanogo is a big, strong center prospect who finishes everything in the paint. 

46. Tosan Evbuomwan

Evbuomwan is a point forward who can really pass. I’m told he interviewed well with the Spurs. 

47. Chris Livingston

Livingston didn’t play much as a freshman at Kentucky but he has reportedly been shooting it really well in workouts. 

48. Terquavion Smith

Smith played well at the combine last year and had a couple positive moments again this year. He’s a shifty scorer but I question his size. 

49. Jordan Miller

Miller will turn 24 as a rookie but he was very productive last season with Miami. 

50. Tristan Vukcevic

Vukcevic shot it really well at the combine but there’s not much hope he can survive defensively.

51. GG Jackson

Jackson is a talented offensive creator but he was so inefficient as a freshman that I’d be surprised if the Spurs pick him. 

52. Toumani Camara

Camara is a modern power forward prospect with notable talents on both ends of the court.

53. Omari Moore

According to a Spurs source, Moore had the best interview of anyone San Antonio talked to this season. Is that enough to actually get him drafted? It might be — even though he really struggled at the combine. 

54. Jalen Slawson

Slawson has good size for a power forward. He also has impressive defensive instincts and can pass it a bit. 

55. Jalen Wilson

Wilson put up stats at Kansas but I struggle to imagine him fitting in San Antonio’s system. 

56. Jalen Pickett

Pickett has an elite basketball IQ for a point guard prospect. As a fifth year senior, he really stuffed the stat sheet. 

57. Nadir Hifi

Hifi is arguably the best draft-and-stash prospect available. A 6-foot-2 point guard from France, he is already really productive in the French league as a 20-year-old. 

58. Justyn Mutts

Mutts battled his way up the college ranks before blossoming as a fifth year senior at Virginia Tech. Along the way, he picked up a bachelor’s degree and a couple master’s degrees. On the court, he defends and runs hard in transition.