The San Antonio Spurs have made some pretty great picks in previous NBA Drafts. They’ve hit on some diamonds in the rough and have taken some obviously great players when possible. We’re going to take a trip down memory lane and re-draft for the Spurs from 2010 to 2019, specifically up until 2014 in this edition.
The major factors that will be taken into account are: position of need, who was still on the board for their pick (we are not doing a total re-draft so no assumptions elsewhere), and that the picks made in each hypothetical re-draft do not carry over to each season. That would make things entirely too complicated. We will tip things off with the 2010 draft.
2010 NBA Draft
James Anderson (pick No. 20) – Anderson appeared in 87 games in just over two seasons with the Spurs and averaged under four points a game. A pick they could have and should have made here was Hassan Whiteside.
Sure, the Spurs already had some big men in Tim Duncan, Antonio McDyess, Tiago Splitter, and Matt Bonner. However, he would have likely been sent to play with a D-League (at the time) team and worked his way up. McDyess was already near the end of his career and Bonner was inching closer to bit minutes in the next few years anyway.
Ryan Richards (pick No. 49) – Richards never played a minute in the NBA so really there are a number of replacement picks we could choose from at this spot. That brings us to most people’s favorite big man in Boban Marjanovic. This was the year where he went undrafted. If the Spurs had nabbed him in the draft, they would have had his rights from the get-go and could have brought him over when they pleased.
This one is a no-brainer and everyone wins in the end. Boban still becomes a Spur and instant fan favorite while the team gets a lovable giant that can help contribute down the road.
Cory Joseph (pick No. 29) – This is a tough one to re-pick as ‘CoJo’ was an integral player for the Spurs during his tenure in San Antonio. However, the pick after him was quite intriguing and could have led to a possible Spurs All-Star squad of players.
The 30th pick in the draft was Jimmy Butler. It might have been hard to justify trading up for Kawhi Leonard and then taking another small forward in the first round. But with hindsight, we can see that would have been the right and epic move to make.
Adam Hanga (pick No. 59) – Another overseas player who never ended up in the NBA, Hanga was picked before the greatest steal of this draft class in Isaiah Thomas. Should the Spurs have picked him, they would have a microwave guy off the bench with something to prove.
He could have absolutely taken over some minutes from the likes of T.J. Ford and Justin Dentmon while competing with Patty Mills for the backup spot.
NOTE: The Spurs did move up to grab Kawhi Leonard in this draft and while feelings may not be the same about him, we can all agree that was the right call.
Marcus Denmon (pick No. 59) – Denmon was another guy who never panned out and did not make it over to the States. That should make this pick easy as the best available undrafted player is Kent Bazemore.
He probably would have had some trouble getting on the court with so many other small forwards and shooting guards getting time. However, he would have eventually gotten there after Tracy McGrady retired, Stephen Jackson went to L.A. and Nando De Colo was traded the next season.
Livio Jean-Charles (pick No. 28) – This draft was one where neither of the Spurs’ picks panned out. There was plenty of teasing if Jean-Charles would ever make it over to Texas. He never did though and those hopes are lost.
A suitable replacement pick here would have been Mike Muscala. He’s a stretch big-man who could have eventually replaced Matt Bonner or Tiago Splitter after he was shipped off to Atlanta.
Deshaun Thomas (pick No. 58) – Another NBA no-show on this list. A good replacement from the undrafted list would be Robert Covington. A long wing who can defend will always have minutes in the rotation, especially under head coach Gregg Popovich.
Covington went from the G-League to making an All-Defensive First Team in the NBA. A great story that could have happened with the Spurs instead of Philly.
Kyle Anderson (pick No. 30) – I happened to think this was an excellent pick and really wouldn’t change it. However, for the sake of this exercise, let’s say the Spurs ended up taking Spencer Dinwiddie.
He has been one of the most improved players in the league from that draft. He also just signed a three-year deal this past offseason that will see him dip in to a seven-figure payday for the first time in his career.
Jordan McRae (pick No. 58) – McRae was traded to Philly on draft night so this pick we will leave alone.
Cory Jefferson (pick No. 60) – Jefferson was traded to Brooklyn on draft night so this one we will also leave alone.