The other week, we posted about what was at stake for the San Antonio Spurs during the 2022 NBA Draft Lottery. Well, the draft lottery has come and gone. Now we know what picks the Spurs have in the draft this year. As it turns out, the team is pretty well positioned, and could even consider a trade up. Let’s take a closer look at the Spurs’ options.
Could the Spurs Trade Up in the Draft?
The Spurs will head into the 2022 NBA Draft with the 9th, 20th, 25th , and 38th picks. This is the first time since 1997 that the team has had a pick in the top ten. NBA executives told HoopsHype that they are monitoring a number of teams that may be interested in trading their picks, among them the Spurs. They also mentioned the Portland Trail Blazers, the Sacramento Kings, and several others.
Offering context on this year’s draft, Grant Afseth at Sports Illustrated says, “With the 2022 NBA Draft featuring what many consider as being a weaker class, there could be greater opportunity for a team to move up if they are interested in doing so. When digging deeper, it may be more challenging than first thought.”
While trading up could be a worthwhile move for the Spurs, Afseth points out that the team is in a pretty good position even if it opts not to trade. While the number 9 pick is not likely to bring in a superstar, it should still be able to bring a strong prospect onboard to help continue to develop the Spurs’ existing core.
How Realistic is a Trade Up?
Whether the Spurs will try to trade up depends not just on the team’s strategy, but also on the willingness of other teams to trade out. As things stand, the Houston Rockets look like a possibility if the Spurs want to try for the 3rd pick. But the cost might be too high.
Something else the Spurs could do is try trading the 25th and the 38th picks together to move up. This might give them a higher pick to go alongside the 20th pick. They could then trade that pick and the 20th pick together to another team for an even better spot. Yet another option would be to trade the 20th pick and the 9th pick together. Trading away players is a possibility as well. So, there are a lot of possible combinations and opportunities for the team to explore.
As far as prospects are concerned, one we have been hearing a lot about lately is Wisconsin guard Johnny Davis. David said, “Playing under coach Popovich, the most famous coach in NBA history, would be something I would really want to happen.” Davis is a realistic prospect, and he could be a solid fit for the Spurs.
Another player who might be right for the Spurs is Paolo Banchero, who also has expressed an interest in playing in San Antonio (he specifically mentioned wanting to play with Dejounte Murray). But he is going to be in high demand from other teams as well, including potentially the Houston Rockets and the Indiana Pacers. Since the Pacers and Rockets have better picks than the Spurs in the top 10, it could be challenging for the Spurs to try and get in ahead of them to claim Banchero.
The 2022 NBA Draft will take place on June 23rd. As we wait to find out whether the Spurs will trade up or take a different approach, be sure to check out our Mock Draft 1.0 for 2022.