Spurs Big Board 3.0: Update After 2022 NBA Draft Combine

Historically, the San Antonio Spurs have put a lot of stock in the NBA draft combine. That doesn’t look like it will change this year. According to multiple sources, the Spurs had more front office personnel at the event than ever before. 

Last year, San Antonio selected Joshua Primo and Joe Wieskamp in the draft after the pair of prospects turned heads at the combine. In 2019, a strong combine performance was the catalyst for the Spurs picking Luka Samanic with the 19th overall selection.

At the 2022 NBA Draft Combine, players could opt to partake in measurements, athletic testing, interviews and scrimmages. As has been the case in recent years, the top prospects opted out of most of the activities.

While it’s true that Primo, Wieskamp and Samanic were full participants at the combine, it’s also important to note that the Spurs don’t always rely on combine results. For example, Devin Vassell didn’t participate during the 2020 combine but that didn’t stop the Spurs from picking him with the 11th overall selection.

In this updated Spurs Big Board, I’ll rank the 2022 NBA Draft prospects in order from best to worst while viewing the players from San Antonio’s perspective. The Spurs have four picks in this draft: 9th, 20th, 25th and 38th. 

The Spurs didn’t get lucky with the ping pong balls so these four players are now out of their reach — unless the Spurs trade up into the top four or five picks. More on that in a forthcoming article…

5. Bennedict Mathurin
6. Dyson Daniels

Mathurin remains at No. 5 for the third straight Spurs Big Board. At 6-foot-6 in shoes, his elite athleticism and shooting ability would be difficult to pass on. Daniels measured 6-foot-7.5 in shoes and two scouts told me that he looked fantastic in his individual workout. The Australian could eventually play four positions and brings great defense and passing to the table from Day 1.  

7. Keegan Murray

It’s difficult to figure out how much the Spurs will value Murray. On one hand, he’ll be 22 at the start of next season — which makes him an old man in this draft. The 6-foot-8 forward also relied on post-ups in college, which won’t translate to the NBA. However, analytics departments across the league remain extremely high on Murray despite those two potential red flags. He was so dominant as a sophomore at Iowa that it’s not difficult to fall in love with his overall profile. I’m moving him up one spot in the Spurs Big Board because I think he could very well be the pick if he drops to No. 9. 

8. Jeremy Sochan

Sochan’s lack of shooting scares me but the Spurs gave him extra attention at the combine. In fact, Manu Ginobili was part of the crew that interviewed the Baylor product. Fit-wise, Sochan is perfect. He’s primarily a power forward but he has a history of thriving in a multitude of roles — from offensive initiator to small-ball center. His defense and activity level would likely be enough for him to enter the Spurs rotation right away. As long as he can shoot it straight, he’d be a fine pick. 

9. Jalen Williams

On the Spurs Big Board 2.0, I had Williams 19th. Considering he was regarded as a second round prospect at the time, that was really high. But after he blew up at the combine, Williams is now widely regarded as a first round pick. While it may sound like a stretch, I think the Spurs will consider taking him at 9th overall — especially because it’s now questionable whether he’ll even drop to 20.

At the combine, Williams tested out as an elite athlete with a top-five result in max vertical leap (39 inches) and three quarter sprint (3.11 seconds). At 6-foot-5.75 with shoes, he has a jaw-dropping 7-foot-2.25 wingspan and an 8-foot-9.25 standing reach. At Santa Clara, Williams showed promise as a shooter, passer and playmaker. He has warts (he’s relatively slow-footed and lacks explosiveness) but there are now enough reasons to justify reaching for him in the lottery. 

10. Johnny Davis
11. Malaki Branham

The analytically-inclined individuals who gush about Murray are really wary about Johnny Davis. I love his competitiveness and gumption but I’ve dropped him from seven to ten due to concerns about how he’ll translate to the NBA. 

Last year, Scottie Barnes and Joshua Primo were the two players who reportedly interviewed the best at the combine. This year, Branham was one of the two players who got rave reviews for his interviews. As a freshman at Ohio State, he scored with effortless efficiency and also exhibited some promise as a passer. 

12. Shaedon Sharpe
13. Tari Eason

Sharpe moves up a couple spots in the Spurs Big Board after attending the combine. While he didn’t do much (mostly measurements), I expected him to hide until the draft. I still doubt that the Spurs would draft Sharpe but it’s now a little bit more possible due to him showing up for this event.

Eason is another player who I’ve previously doubted as a fit for San Antonio due to his overall lack of feel. At LSU, he was amazingly productive but relied on brute force and little else. However, the Spurs interviewed Eason at the combine — so there must be some level of intrigue. Additionally, Eason’s measurements (6-foot-8 in shoes, 7-foot-2 wingspan, 8-foot-11.5 standing reach and the combine’s biggest hands) were phenomenal and drew an outline of a player that is exactly what the Spurs need on their roster.

14. Mark Williams
15. Jalen Duren

Speaking of outstanding measurements, Mark Williams stole the show. He was 7-foot-2 in shoes with a ludicrous 9-foot-9 standing reach thanks to his 7-foot-6.5 wingspan. He also weighed in at a healthy 242.4 pounds. I previously reported that there’s talk the Spurs prefer Williams over Duren — and I think these measurements make it even more likely that the Spurs would pick Williams before they pick Duren.

Duren was 9th in the previous Spurs Big Board but now I’m finding it harder and harder to believe that he’s a possible pick when the Spurs select in the lottery. He didn’t participate in the combine at all, which further hurt his case in my estimation. If he works out for the Spurs, I’ll probably bump him back up. But as it stands, Duren is sinking. 

16. Ousmane Dieng
17. Jaden Hardy

Two other players who didn’t do themselves any favors by skipping the combine were Dieng and Hardy. Dieng’s main selling point is he’s a 6-foot-10 playmaker. But since he didn’t measure at the combine, it’s harder to buy that sales pitch. Hardy could have pushed himself into lottery discussion if he had done well in the scrimmages — but he didn’t play — or even measure. 

18. Gabriele Procida

Procida rises from 27 to 18 after the Spurs took a lot of interest in the Como, Italy, native at the combine. Ginobili interviewed him in Italian and asked him about his contract in Europe, according to reports. Procida measured taller than expected (6-foot-7.75 in shoes) and scouts say he shot well and looked like an explosive athlete during his individual workout. Draft pundits continue to rank Procida as a late second round pick but I think the Spurs may pick him in the first round, especially if he’s willing to be stashed overseas for a season or two.

19. Dalen Terry
20. Terquavion Smith

Along with Branham, Terry was said to be the most impressive prospect during interviews. He’s 6-foot-7.25 in shoes and is noted for his passing and defense. Smith looked really good in the one scrimmage game he played in. He’s a high-volume three-point shooter who also appears to have a bit of playmaking ability. Smith, who measured 6-foot-3.75 in shoes, has also already worked out for the Spurs. 

21. TyTy Washington
22. Nikola Jovic
23. Kendall Brown

Washington, a combo guard with playmaking chops, has a workout lined up with the Spurs and has first round talent. Jovic measured at 6-foot-11 in shoes but it’s difficult to figure out who the combo forward from Serbia would defend in the NBA. Brown jumped high off the ground in testing but the rest of his measurements were iffy enough to question whether he’s quick enough or big enough to find a full-time position in the league.  

24. Blake Wesley
25. Bryce McGowens

Wesley and McGowens slip in the Spurs Big Board after forgoing the combine scrimmages. They’re both athletic enough and have enough offensive skill to be drafted by the Spurs — but now it’s less likely after they were limited participants at the combine. 

26. Ochai Agbaji
27. Christian Braun

Fresh off a national championship, these two Kansas prospects will definitely be in the discussions when the Spurs pick in the first round. Agbaji and Braun can both shoot, jump and play defense.

28. MarJon Beauchamp
29. EJ Liddell
30. Christian Koloko

Beauchamp, a 6-foot-6.5 do-it-all role player, was interviewed by the Spurs at the combine. Liddell posted a combine-best 35.5-inch standing vertical leap. Koloko shot really well during shooting drills for a player who is 7-feet tall with a 7-foot-5.25 wingspan and a 9-foot-5 standing reach. 

31. AJ Griffin
32. Jake LaRavia
33. Wendell Moore
34. Trevor Keels

None of these four players participated in the scrimmages. As a result, they remain outside of the top 30 in the Spurs Big Board. 

35. Hugo Besson
36. Josh Minott
37. Kennedy Chandler

Besson and Minott played in the scrimmages for the team that was led by Spurs assistant coach Mitch Johnson. Besson is a confident 6-foot-5 scorer from France, while Minott is a big man prospect who produced very well at Memphis on a per-minute basis. Chandler is a 6-foot point guard who is unlikely to be picked by the Spurs unless they decide to waive Tre Jones. 

38. Patrick Baldwin Jr
39. Leonard Miller
40. Peyton Watson

Baldwin and Miller plummet on the Spurs Big Board after the combine. Baldwin tested as extremely unathletic, while Miller really struggled in the scrimmages. Watson also dropped a couple spots after his testing was more mediocre than expected. 

41. Jaylin Williams
42. Jabari Walker
43. John Butler

Williams and Walker had strong moments in the scrimmages. Williams is a smart defender who can pass well for a center. Walker looks like the type of mobile power forward the league craves — plus he can shoot. 

Butler also played pretty well in the scrimmages. He’s taller than 7-foot but weighs less than 175 pounds — so to say he has a unique build is an understatement. But he can shoot threes and block shots, which is always a useful combination. 

44. Jean Montero
45. Ryan Rollins
46. Marcus Sasser

Montero, Rollins and Sasser are undersized shooting guards who can put points on the board. Do they do enough else well enough to be picked by the Spurs in the top 38? That’s questionable right now. 

47. Harrison Ingram
48. Dereon Seabron

Ingram and Seabron are big playmakers who still need a lot of developmental work. If they figure it out, though, they’ll be valuable. 

49. Ismael Kamagate
50. Walker Kessler

Kamagate didn’t participate in the combine so he didn’t budge from 49. Kessler measured well but didn’t do enough to move out of the 50th slot. 

51. Max Christie
52. Caleb Houstan

Christie and Houstan are two players who were known for their shooting when they went to college. Both players struggled to shoot as freshmen. If the Spurs want a sharpshooter, they may look to one of these guys and hope they’re able to reclaim their high school touch. 

53. Justin Lewis
54. Trevion Williams
55. JD Davison

Lewis could have moved up the board if he played in the scrimmages. Alas, he sat out. Williams is a center who might be the best passer in the draft. Davison is a super athlete but he didn’t scrimmage and measured shorter than expected. 

56. Dominick Barlow
57. Andrew Nembhard
58. Tyrese Martin

Barlow had impressive measurables (6-foot-10 with a 7-foot-3 wingspan) and was on Mitch Johnson’s team during the scrimmages. Did he do enough to catch San Antonio’s attention? It’s possible. Nembhard was arguably the best player in the scrimmages but he’s a low-ceiling point guard. 

Martin has been in almost every camp since the college season ended and keeps producing. He was a standout at the Portsmouth Invitational Tournament and the NBA G League Elite Camp before also playing well in the scrimmages. That type of pre-draft determination is what the Spurs look for. That said, he’s more likely to be someone the Spurs target if he goes undrafted because it’d be difficult to justify picking him in the top 38.