Spurs Prospect Watch: Daniel Gafford

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The San Antonio Spurs are swinging back and forth between landing a lottery pick and landing just outside of it. They’re currently fifth in the West and are alone there for now. However, they could just as easily fall out of the playoffs — despite a good win over the Golden State Warriors on Monday night — and end up with a late lottery pick. This week’s prospect watch reflects the Spurs’ current standing though as they would fall in the 20-25 range.

Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford is the man to watch this week and now that his season is over everyone can go digging into his highlights. The 6-foot-11, 234-pound center is only a freshman and wasn’t expected to be NBA-ready this season. However, he’s played his way into the draft and definitely the first round at this point.

Here are some of his stats:

  •  11.8 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 2.2 BPG
  • 60.5 FG%, 52.8 FT%
    • Per-40 stats:
      • 20.9 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 3.8 BPG
  • 120.2 ORtg, 100.7 DRtg, 26.8 PER

Gafford has had a bit of a bizarre year as he has been wildly effective when he’s been in the game, but he averaged less than 23 minutes a game. While his shooting percentage is incredibly high he also doesn’t take many shots outside of the paint. His free throw shooting percentages would certainly suggest that he has to work quite a bit on that part of his game. However, he is a great finisher at the rim and he’s a ferocious rebounder as he grabs 2.2 offensive rebounds a game in his limited minutes.

The Razorback is a superb freak athlete as you can see from his ridiculous array of dunks and could make the Spurs much more athletic in the frontcourt right away. He’s also an excellent shot blocker and likely won’t take away too many shots from his teammates until he improves his shooting and post up game. However, he would be a great pick and roll prospect as he is a smooth athlete which is a key trait for any good rim runner.

 

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