The San Antonio Spurs are coming off a disappointing season that resulted in just barely missing out on the postseason. Gregg Popovich’s squad lost in the play-in tournament to the Grizzlies, who eventually clinched the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference.
While the Western Conference will likely continue to be loaded with stiff competition, the Spurs are right on the fringe of becoming a really solid team yet again and they have plenty of young, promising pieces to build around. Add on that the Spurs will have plenty of cap room this summer and could make some noise in the trade market, and it will be a busy summer for the San Antonio front office.
San Antonio landed the No. 12 pick in the draft and now that they know where they will be selecting, here are three options for the Spurs at No. 12 in the 2021 NBA Draft.
3.) Trade back
San Antonio is sitting in a spot near the end of the lottery where a lot of movement tends to start getting stirred up. Either a couple of prospects were predicted my most to go in the top 10 slip or other teams hovering around the outside of the lottery really like someone that they want to move up for.
Teams with multiple first round picks could be hitting up the Spurs’ phone line when they are selecting at No. 12 and maybe there’s an offer for San Antonio that they deem to good to pass up on.
The Knicks are one team to watch. New York has picks No. 19, 21 and 38. If they wanted to move up to No. 12 and offered No. 19 and 38, would that be enough for the Spurs? Picks 19 and 21 would certainly be more enticing.
So who would the Spurs target by moving back. Guards like Jared Butler, Tre Mann or Ayo Dosunmu could all be intriguing. Butler can play off the ball at the two-guard, providing a potential nice one-two punch with Dejounte Murray. While Dosunmu projects to be more of a point guard, he might be that sneaky pick in the 20’s that goes on to have a very long NBA career.
Teams like the Thunder and Rockets both have three first round picks as well. Both have on first round selection ahead of No. 12 and two behind it.
Regardless of how it plays out, expect the Spurs to at least field some calls at No. 12.
2.) James Bouknight – Connecticut
James Bouknight is one of the wild-card prospects in this class.
Some believe he will go top 10 and there isn’t a doubt in the world about it, while others see him going just outside the lottery.
Bouknight dealt with injuries last season at Connecticut but when he’s on the floor, he’s a walking bucket.
The Spurs could play him alongside Murray and it could be an incredibly dynamic duo.
Bouknight can play off the ball and while his three-point shooting needs to become more consistent, the man is still instant offense. He has a really fast first step and can get to the rim without a care in the world. While the shot can be streaky, if he can hammer home consistency at the next level, Bouknight could end up being an all-star type player in the NBA.
San Antonio could go many directions at No. 12 and the argument can be made that point guard isn’t the main need. But Bouknight very well could be the best available player at No. 12 if he slips to that spot in the draft.
1.) Franz Wagner – Michigan
When watching Franz Wagner play, he just screams of a player who would be a perfect in a San Antonio Spurs uniform.
Wagner doesn’t make mistakes, he can spot up and drain a three and he plays pretty sound defense.
Intensity and energy are two things that never come into question with Wagner and his basketball intelligence is top tier.
His three-point shooting could use a little work and he isn’t overly flashy with his ball handling, but the Spurs have shown great player development in the past and those are areas that could be elevated in San Antonio with Wagner.
He’s a prospect that is more NBA ready than most in this class and he should play immediate and impactful minutes right from the jump of his career, wherever he lands up.
The instincts on defense and his ability to guard multiple spots are what will have teams salivating over Wagner and his offensive game has upside to it. There’s a chance he isn’t available at No. 12 but if he is, the fit between the Spurs and Wagner couldn’t be any more perfect.
San Antonio is right in the middle of the chaos, selecting at No. 12 in the 2021 NBA Draft. Everyone knows who the first four or five picks will be, it’s just a matter of what order they go in. But once you get just outside the top 10, often times the party starts. The Spurs hold the key at No. 12, and they will have an array of options from which to work with.