Spurs Prospect Watch: Ignas Brazdeikis

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With a 6-4 record in their last 10 games, the Spurs are looking more and more like a playoff team and definitely should be out of any lottery talk for June’s draft. Their 25-20 record has them situated at the 19th pick right now, but we will be looking at a prospect the Spurs would likely get with their Toronto pick in the first round.

Freshman Michigan forward Ignas Brazdeikis has been one of the more fun players to watch in college basketball this season. His play has catapulted him into potential one-and-done territory and that’s why we’re going to take a look at him. The 6-foot-7, 215-pound forward has been putting up some solid numbers and here they are in all of their glory:

  • 15.6 PPG, 1.1 APG, 5.4 RPG
  • 48.7 FG%, 38.5 3P%, 77.1 FT%
  • 24.1 PER, 120.5 ORtg, 87.7 DRtg

Brazdeikis is a bit old for a freshman as he just turned 20 this month (he spent a year at prep school before college), but that won’t matter as he’s likely to leave school after this season anyway. And he should considering he could immediately carve out a role on an NBA team as an off-the-bench spark plug and semi-defensive stopper. He can take guys off the dribble, shoots well from beyond the arc and finishes well with his off-hand too. The lefty may also bring back some nostalgia for those fans who miss another certain lefty who retired recently.

While Brazdeikis might have an excellent defensive rating, that can be a bit misleading as a lot of the guys he guards out on the wing are not the same athletes he will see in the NBA. He is going to be a bit slower at the next level, but he obviously does a great job with what he’s given against the competition he’s seen so far in his short career. He moves his feet fairly well and can stay in front of his opponent for the most part. He will have to work on his speed going to the NBA, but he’s got the foundation to be solid on defense. The only other big negative for the swingman is that he doesn’t have a great wingspan for someone his size, but obviously he can’t really control that.

The Michigan Wolverines are undefeated and Brazdeikis is a big reason for that. He can take bigger guys off the dribble, do just about anything from a face-up spot and is a solid enough playmaker. He’s got a high basketball IQ with a great motor, so really has the intangibles you like to see in a guy who could end up with the Spurs. He’s not an elite ball handler and can be hesitant to shoot at times, but that can be fixed with more role definition at the next level.

Possibly taking Brazdeikis at the 30th pick would be a nice pickup and could the Spurs some great flexibility between positions. A trend the rest of the league is picking up on and trying to take advantage of in this day and age.

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