The San Antonio Spurs should anticipate a lot of talk about what they’ll do with their likely top-5 pick. However, there should also be some hype around what they may do with their second-round pick this summer. A sneaky good pick at the beginning of the round could be Arizona’s Azuolas Tubelis.
The 6-foot-11, 245-pound junior has flourished under second-year coach Tommy Lloyd and has gotten a chance to show some nice offensive game. He’s a solid defender in the post and on the wing against bigger forwards. Here’s what the lefty Tubelis has done in 29 games so far this season.
- 19.6 PPG, 0.8 BPG, 1.1 SPG, 2.0 APG, 9.1 RPG
- 57.3 FG%, 34.6 3P%, 75.9 FT%
- 29.1 PER, 121.9 ORtg, 94.3 DRtg
Azuolas Tubelis Breakdown
Azuolas Tubelis is averaging a double-double the last month and scoring exactly the same points per game as Trayce Jackson-Davis on better efficiency in that timeframe and it's like none of you even care pic.twitter.com/fK1dj33YRN
— Kyle Boone (@kyletheboone) February 10, 2023
Tubelis is an excellent big to have on offense as he can play with his back to the basket or spread the floor for you. He doesn’t shoot a whole lot of threes — only 26 on the season so far — but he has shown the willingness to shoot them and stretch the floor. Tubelis can take other bigs off the dribble and he finishes pretty well around the rim. He likes to get to his left but can finish with his right when needed.
Not only can Tubelis shoot well around the rim, but he has a little bit of a midrange game. He has a little push shot from close enough in that’s reminiscent of Jakob Poeltl. He’s decisive in his post moves and once he knows he has a smaller defender, Tubelis is excellent at getting right to the rim and not wasting dribbles or time getting there. His motor also gives him a few buckets each game as he just runs the floor well and plants himself in the paint when he knows he can seal off a smaller defender. An underrated aspect of his game is that the Lithuanian can rip and run on rebounds.
Some of the things that Tubelis can work on are his defensive foot speed and being more disciplined at times on defense. As an older player, he could come in and contribute right away. Of course, that will depend on if the Spurs can nab Victor Wembanyama as that would make this potential pick moot. They would likely go guard, if that became the case. Expect Tubelis to get some late first-round or early second-round looks.
Stay tuned for more NBA prospects and college previews on Project Spurs.