Spurs draft Croatian, trade rights to Bucks


After all the talk and rumors of the Spurs possibly moving up into the first round to select a small forward or point guard, the front office decided to stay put and select Croatian forward Damir Markota with their 59th pick, but they kept him long enough for me to become intrigued and have a pipe dream of Markota becoming the next Dirk Nowitzki before they traded his rights to Milwaukee for the better of the Bucks two 2007 second round picks.
Markota is still about 3 years from being NBA ready and the Spurs already have Ian Mahinmi, Sergei Karaulov and Viktor Sanikidze waiting overseas as well as Luis Scola and Robertas Javtokas, who may come over this summer.
While there weren’t too many players in the first round I would have wanted them to trade up far, with the exception of Kyle Lowry, there were a few second rounders I was hoping the Spurs would trade for.
Minnesota ended up picking up Bobby Jones and then trading him to Philadelphia for a future second rounder and cash. Jones was probably the best perimeter defender in the draft, and I think he would make for a younger, more athletic replacement for Bruce Bowen in a few years. The Spurs are clearly looking for a younger small forward to groom and take Bowen’s place when he retires and Jones fits that mold pretty well, but the Spurs will have to settle for someone in the free agent market.
Other players that piqued my interest were Guillermo Diaz, Lior Eliyahu, David Noel and Leon Powe.

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Michael is the founder and editor of ProjectSpurs.com. He has a long history in journalism, sports and online media. Michael has been interviewed by the BBC, SportTalk, the Sports Reporters Radio Show, MemphisSportLive, OKC Sports Wrap and ESPN radio among others.