The San Antonio Spurs Look like they’re going to be alright after taking down the Houston Rockets over the weekend. Turnovers doomed them against the Sacramento Kings to lead them to their current 7-5 record. One good thing that came from those games is Derrick White being not so much eased back into playing time as being thrown into the fire. But it seems to have worked for him and the team and that should lead to some more comfortable play across the board. Patty Mills and Bryn Forbes will return to their more natural positions coming off the bench and not having to worry about running with the starters for 30+ minutes a night.
Having said all of that, the Spurs should be back to playoff-making form and that also means a pick outside of the lottery in 2019. That brings us to our weekly prospect watch and this week we are taking a look at point-forward Dedric Lawson out of Kansas. The young man spent last year riding the pine due to NCAA transfer rules. However, he’s made his short time with the Jayhawks worth the wait as he recorded 20 points, two blocks, 14 rebounds, two steals and six assists in a huge win against a top-10 Michigan State team to start the season. Here are some of his numbers from his last season with Memphis in 2016-17:
- 19.2 PPG, 2.1 BPG, 1.3 SPG, 9.9 RPG, 3.3 APG
- 113 ORtg, 95.5 DRtg
- 46.1 FG%, 27.0 3P%
Obviously the kid can play and that should be expected from him since he is already 21-years old. We’ve only got a small sample size to work with while he’s been at Kansas, but he would be a really nice pickup and get with the Spurs’ own pick or the one they will undoubtedly get from the Toronto Raptors. He can give the Spurs a different look offensively and would still be a plus on defense. The 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward can handle the ball well, looks for others and finds them more often than not.
Lawson is an excellent ball handler, can create an offense for himself and others and is a good decision maker for the most part. There are times when he is a bit wild on offense, but when he’s settled he is something special. He gets to the free throw line almost at will — he averaged over six trips there at Memphis and got there 12 times against Michigan State in his Kansas debut. He is a solid scorer off the dribble and scores on the move well. He’s also a great rebounder and an even better shot blocker (as you can tell by his averages).
The big man will have a few things to work on this season if he wants to go in the first round of the 2019 NBA Draft. He has to improve his shooting, especially from outside, and he has to show he can guard guys who are more athletic than him. He struggles with that often despite being a decent athlete himself. He may also be a big of a tweener, but there are worse problems to have in this age of the NBA.
While Lawson may be a tweener, he has skills that are transferable between positions so that should help him down the road. He will have to get used to playing better competition in the Big 12 as well rather than the AAC he had played in for two seasons prior. However, if the Michigan State game is any indication, then he should be just fine.