In an unsurprising result, the San Antonio Spurs officially secured the 12th pick in the 2021 NBA Draft on Tuesday. Despite having an 8% chance to move into the top four, it was unlikely the basketball Gods would shine on them once again after they were blessed with Tim Duncan in 1997.
While landing in the top four would’ve been nice, this draft class promises to be one of the best ones in years, and the Spurs can likely find someone ready to help right away even at 12th.
Our draft expert, Ben Bornstein, has been profiling different potential picks for the Spurs all year long, which can all be found in his Prospect Watch section here.
Now that the pick is official, it’s time to break things down even further. Ben has been profiling players that range from all over the board in terms of expected draft position. Knowing San Antonio will be picking 12th, I asked him to rank his top 12 realistic options for the Silver and Black.
All of these options are projected to land around the 12th-pick range by experts, so don’t expect any Cunninghams or Mobleys here. Along with each pick, I’ll include a snippet and link from his previous prospect profile of the player.
Let’s get started with #12.
12. Cam Thomas – G, LSU
“His confidence, athleticism, and ability to get buckets will be what get him drafted. However, he will have to show he can play unselfishly and do more than just shoot. He has a penchant for bad shot selection and not being a great playmaker for his teammates.” Full Prospect Watch here.
11. Ayo Dosunmu – SG, Illinois
“Dosumnu can go out and get his shot pretty much whenever he wants. He’s a good combo guard who could be a second facilitator on a team, but probably shouldn’t be asked to be the main point man.” Full Prospect Watch here.
10. Tre Mann – G, Florida
“He’s not an elite athlete by any means, but he knows how to use change of pace and pull-ups to get his shots. His stepback game is excellent, he is a smooth ball handler, and has great short-area quickness. Mann has enough speed to stay in front of any guard and he was often asked to guard wings.” Full Prospect Watch here.
9. James Bouknight – G, UConn
“Bouknight is a phenomenal scorer and has a full arsenal of moves to get his buckets. He has a nice stepback as a go-to move with plenty of handles to get to his spots. He can get to the rim fairly well and has potential to be a three-level scoring if he can gain confidence back in his three-point shooting.” Full Prospect Watch here.
8. Kai Jones – C, Texas
“The upside for Jones is what intrigues people most as he’s already shown the ability to take his defender off the bounce and get to the paint. He can post up a bit as well, although he won’t really be asked to do much of that at the next level. He flies around on the court, even if his rebound numbers don’t show it.” Full Prospect Watch here.
7. Moses Moody – G, Arkansas
“His shooting is his greatest skill and was a major catalyst for how the Razorbacks got to the Elite Eight before losing to eventual champion Baylor. While he wasn’t efficient this season, Moody still showed that he can hit from deep consistently and is a three-level scorer.” Full Prospect Watch here.
6. Greg Brown – F, Texas
“Brown should be able to guard multiple positions at the NBA level and has the length to be a decent rim protector in small-ball situations. He will have to add some bulk and strength to pound in the paint, but he has an excellent foundation of skills right now. He should be a player that could help with the Spurs’ current issue of rebounding the ball.” Full Prospect Watch here.
5. Jalen Johnson – F, Duke
“The former Blue Devil crashes the glass very well and not only blocks a decent amount of shots, but alters plenty of others. He can guard multiple positions with some potential to defend bigger guys in the post. He played a lot of power forward at Duke and could play well at that position in the NBA.” Full Prospect Watch here.
4. Ziaire Williams – F, Stanford
“Some people are already comparing Williams to Paul George, which is not fair at this point in his development. However, it’s not a terrible stretch of logic to think he could one day get there. He can handle the ball well enough to get his own shot, but has struggled with turnovers (2.8 per game so far) when trying to handle it for more than that.” Full Prospect Watch here.
3. Corey Kispert – F, Gonzaga
“Kispert is an absolute dead-eye shooter and can do it on the move or as a spot-up guy on the perimeter. He had been a bit streaky over his time at Gonzaga but has been nothing close to that this season. His presence can suck guys out to the perimeter and make driving lanes much easier for his teammates.” Full Prospect Watch here.
2. Isaiah Jackson – F/C, Kentucky
“His shooting stroke is improving and there is a clear upside to his game that will require a year or two of work in the G League. However, his NBA-ready skills right now are his motor, rebounding ability, and shot blocking. He could find himself some spots minutes if he is excelling at those three things early on in the process.” Full Prospect Watch here.
1. Franz Wagner – F, Michigan
“Last season showed that Wagner had to make some major strides on defense and he has absolutely done that. He doesn’t give up on guys who get by him on drives and that has led to him doubling his block average from last season. He can now guard two or three positions at a solid level, but will likely end up guarding either forward position at the next level.
Wagner will have to become a more willing and consistent three-point shooter at the next level, but his numbers and mechanics suggest that it’s certainly possible.” Full Prospect Watch here.
For a more comprehensive look at the 2021 NBA Draft for the San Antonio Spurs, check out Paul Garcia’s NBA Draft Propects Board here.
The 2021 NBA Draft will take place on July 29 at 8 p.m. ET. on ESPN.