The San Antonio Spurs are languishing near the bottom of the NBA Western Conference. By the time you read this, the Houston Rockets may have overtaken the Spurs in the standings, sending them to the bottom of the West.
The team is well off the Western Conference’s top 10 and the final play-in playoff position. The 2022-23 season is set to be the fourth consecutive NBA campaign in which the team fails to make the playoffs.
With the Spurs struggling and set for a lottery draft pick, it is a good time to look back at their recent top NBA Draft picks from the last five seasons. The top picks date back to the 2018 NBA Draft.
Canadian basketball fans are debating which teams will reach the NBA postseason. Fans interested in NBA playoff betting should explore the betting sites in 2023 to find the best bookmaker in Canada before signing up to wager on NBA games.
The Spurs Top NBA Draft Picks
2018 – Lonnie Walker, Miami Hurricanes: Rd 1, Pk 18
Walker spent the first four years of his NBA career in San Antonio. After a slow start to his career with the Spurs playing just 17 games and averaging 2.6 ppg, Walker went on to play at least 60 games per season over the next three campaigns.
The shooting guard left San Antonio in the summer of 2022, signing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Walker’s final season in San Antonio saw him average a career-high 12.1 ppg despite starting just six times.
2019 – Luka Samanic, Petrol Olimpija: Rd 1, Pk 19
Samanic was a promising young player with professional basketball experience in Europe before making his way to the NBA. In his first season with the Spurs, he played just three times, a spent much of the campaign learning the American game with the G League’s Austin Spurs. A season later, the power forward played 33 times for the NBA team, starting three games and averaging 3.7 ppg.
Ahead of Samanic’s third season in San Antonio, he was cut by the team. He joined the New York Knicks on a two-way contract and later the Boston Celtics on a two-way deal. Samanic has not played in the NBA season the 2020-21 season.
2020 – Devin Vassell, Florida State Seminoles: Rd 1, Pk 11
Unlike the previous two draft picks, Vassell is still a San Antonio Spurs player and will be until 2024, when he becomes an unrestricted free agent. The guard’s first two seasons in the NBA showed plenty of promise, as he played 62 games or more. In 2022-23, he is having his best season in terms of scoring, averaging 19.4 ppg.
2021 – Joshua Primo, Alabama Crimson Tide: Rd 1, Pk 12
The Spurs got burnt by drafting Primo in 2021 with the 12th overall pick. Primo played well in his rookie campaign, appearing in 50 games, averaging just under 20 minutes, and tallying 5.8 ppg. However, Primo was waived by San Antonio in October 2022 after he allegedly exposed himself to multiple women. A month later, the Spurs’ sports psychologist filed a lawsuit alleging Primo exposed himself to her.
2022 – Jeremy Sochan, Baylor Bears: Rd 1, Pk 9
Perhaps the Spurs got it right with Sochan but only time will truly tell. The former Baylor power forward averaged 25.7 mpg, 10.1 ppg, and 4.9 rebounds per game through his first 46 appearances with the team. Sochan is only 19 years old and could be a superstar with a few seasons under his belt in San Antonio.