Big Board 2.0 with Latest Spurs Draft Intel

In the first update to the original Spurs Big Board for the 2024 NBA Draft, we see quite a bit of movement. The Spurs have the fourth and eighth overall picks and while it remains difficult to predict what San Antonio will do, things are beginning to come into focus.

In discussions with Spurs sources in the last few weeks, I’ve learned that the team is higher on this draft than consensus. There’s a palpable amount of excitement regarding what the franchise can accomplish with their two lottery picks this year.

The most interesting tidbits from the sources came when talking about what the Spurs are looking for in this draft. First of all, the franchise is obviously prioritizing each player’s potential fit next to Victor Wembanyama when evaluating prospects. But beyond that, sources have told me that the Spurs are targeting all-around talents.

“The game today is dominated by multi-skilled players that can play up and down the lineup and it’s moving away from specialists,” explained a Spurs source when asked about what the franchise values as it builds around Wembanyama.

1. Zaccharie Risacher

Previous Ranking: 2

Risacher climbs a spot and now sits on top of the Big Board. Not only is the teenager playing well for his French team in the playoffs, he ticks a lot of boxes for what the Spurs will likely be looking for in this draft. He’s a tall wing who can guard multiple positions. Risacher has shot it well from three-point land and has already proven he’s capable of playing a valuable role on a team focused on winning. His fit next to Wembanyama appears to be very clean.

I think a good outcome for him would be a taller Danny Green. While that might not be exciting at the top of a draft board, this draft is lacking when it comes to flash and high-potential prospects. If Risacher is available, my prediction as of right now is that he’d be the pick at No. 4. 

2. Stephon Castle

Previous Ranking: 5

If the Spurs want a multi-positional, multi-talented player at No. 4, Castle fits the bill. He’s a really good on-ball defender and is almost equally as strong away from the action. Offensively, he’s smart and can be relied upon to make the right play. Castle is a really good passer, he drives with purpose and he plays with physicality. Approaching 6-foot-7 in shoes, he’d be able to fit in a wide array of combinations.

Castle’s iffy three-point shooting keeps him out of the top spot on this Big Board. There’s also talk that he is demanding to play point guard in the NBA. Hopefully that isn’t the case because I think his fit as a point guard next to Wembanyama is questionable at best. 

3. Alexandre Sarr

Previous Ranking: 7

From all accounts, Sarr looked like the real deal at the combine. He’s the favorite to be the first overall pick due to his combination of size, mobility and explosiveness. If Sarr somehow begins to slide in the draft, I think he has shown enough for San Antonio to pick him at No. 4.

The native of France wouldn’t be the smoothest pairing next to Wembanyama but he’s a legit seven-footer who is light on his feet. If Wembanyama and Sarr can learn how to play next to each other, the Spurs would have a monstrous defensive duo that would hold down the frontcourt for the next 15 years.

4. Robert Dillingham

Previous Ranking: 1

Dillingham was at the top of the original Big Board but has now slipped to the fourth spot. Truthfully, he’s in danger of falling more by the time the draft rolls around. Not only did he weigh only 164 pounds at the combine, he’s dealing with an ankle injury so he hasn’t been able to quell any fears about his diminutive size. 

The draft order is also working against Dillingham being San Antonio’s pick at No. 4. As it stands, the teams between No. 4 and No. 8 don’t need a point guard so that could cause the Spurs to wait until their second lottery pick before addressing that need.

All that said, scouts for other teams continue to believe that the Spurs are a very likely destination for Dillingham because of his scoring ability and his seamless fit next to Wembanyama.

5. Reed Sheppard

Previous Ranking: 3

As discussed a couple days ago, Sheppard to the Spurs makes sense on a few levels. He’s a great shooter, a playmaker on defense and should be able to play point guard on a team built around Wembanyama. 

His lack of size is a real concern, though. 

6. Matas Buzelis

Previous Ranking: 9

The Spurs have historically targeted players who interview well at the combine and I’ve heard multiple accounts that Buzelis was the best interview at this year’s combine. Add in the fact that he measured well and Buzelis could have moved himself into the mix at No. 4. His size and athleticism should allow him to play multiple positions and he clearly has potential on both ends of the court.

The two main issues with Buzelis are his questionable motor and his three-point shooting touch. Scouts tell me that he didn’t always play hard in the G League and history says he’s always been a sub par three-point shooter other than his senior year in high school.

7. Tidjane Salaun

Previous Ranking: 8

Salaun has been a big-time riser in the last week or two. But considering I already had him at the eighth spot in the first Big Board, I don’t have much more room to move him up. This Frenchman is raw enough that it’s difficult to justify putting him much higher than seven.

However, in a draft that lacks players with tantalizing upside, Salaun is able to stand out. He passes the eye-test with flying colors due to his size, athleticism and power. If a team believes his shooting is real and believes he still has a lot of room to develop, it’s not impossible for him to move into the top 5 of this draft.

8. Dalton Knecht

Previous Ranking: 10

Prior to Wembanyama, Knecht wasn’t the type of player the Spurs would target. Not only is he 23, his defensive ability is limited and he doesn’t classify as a playmaker on offense.

But in this post-Wembanyama world, could Knecht actually be what the Spurs want? Maybe. He’s a talented shooter and scorer who competes. At the combine, his athleticism shined and gave hope that he could continue to improve as a defender and a slasher on offense. 

9. Ron Holland

Previous Ranking: 13

In this draft, Holland’s open court speed and shiftiness should keep him in the conversation throughout the lottery. His jumper looks bad and he is still learning how to play the game but he plays really hard on both ends of the court. I’d be surprised if the Spurs take him at No. 4 — but it’s not an impossible outcome. Remember, at one point in time, Holland was the top rated prospect in this draft. 

10. Nikola Topic

Previous Ranking: 6

I’m still not hearing much of a connection between the Spurs and Topic. European scouts tell me that San Antonio hasn’t shown much outward interest. Additionally, Topic re-injured his knee recently. One European scout told me that the Spurs would need to see Topic back on the court before even considering him as a lottery pick.

11. Cody Williams

Previous Ranking: 4

Williams tumbled down the board after a lackluster showing at the combine. While he’s about 6-foot-8 in shoes, he only weighed in at 178 pounds. Scouts also have questions about his shooting mechanics and his inconsistent effort. 

Williams has enough upside to justify picking at No. 8 but it’s beginning to look like he’ll get selected closer to the end of the lottery.

12. Devin Carter

Previous Ranking: NR

Carter was a combine winner. He tested as the best athlete at the combine. He jumped as high as anyone and also set a speed record. The 22-year-old is coming off of a very productive year at Providence. At 6-foot-3, he is a top-tier competitor who defends, rebounds and can score in a variety of ways.

More of a combo guard, Carter doesn’t have natural playmaking instincts and his outside shot isn’t completely trustworthy. That said, he could climb even higher in the next edition of the Spurs Big Board because of how easy it is to imagine him as a winning contributor at the next level.

13. Donovan Clingan

Previous Ranking: 11

Clingan could go top three in the real draft but the center’s fit next to Wembanyama is questionable enough that it’d be surprising for San Antonio to pick him — even at No. 8. 

14. Bub Carrington

Previous Ranking: NR

Carrington fits the mold of the type of player the Spurs have targeted in recent drafts. He’s one of the youngest players available and he’s early in his growth curve. While his efficiency was lacking during his one year at Pittsburgh, the 6-foot-5 guard has enough upside to excite scouts and spark imaginations.