Best San Antonio Spurs draft picks since 2007
Spurs selected Dejounte Murray in 2016 NBA Draft
SAN ANTONIO – The 2017 NBA Draft is Thursday night and the Spurs currently have picks No. 29 and No. 59.
Over the past decade, the Spurs have not selected a player before pick No. 20, but have remained a championship contender by drafting smart and developing players overseas.
Here’s a look at the Spurs best draft picks since 2007.
Dejounte Murray, pick No. 29 in 2016 NBA Draft:
Murray was considered a steal at the end of last year’s NBA Draft and appears to be the heir-apparent to Tony Parker as the Spurs point guard of the future.
The 20-year-old finished his rookie season strong after Parker got injured during the playoffs.
Forced to play more minutes, Murray responded by averaging 8 points, nearly four rebounds and three steals per game in the Western Conference Finals against eventual NBA champion Golden State.
Nikola Milutinov, pick No. 26 in 2015 NBA Draft:
The Spurs drafted Milutinov two years ago when the 7-footer was only 20 years old.
He is now considered to be one of the best young big men in Europe, and may play with the Spurs in the near future.
Milutinov’s club team, Olympiacos, were runners-up in this year’s EuroLeague, the top professional basketball league in Europe.
Kyle Anderson, pick No. 30 in 2014 NBA Draft:
In his third season with the Spurs, Anderson, 23, continues to grow as a key bench player for San Antonio.
Anderson played in 72 games this season, starting 14 of them. The Spurs went 13-1 in games Anderson started this season.
He finished the playoffs strong as he led the Spurs in scoring in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals, scoring 20 points with seven rebounds and four steals.
Cory Joseph, pick No. 29 in 2011 NBA Draft:
Joseph played four seasons with the Spurs after he was drafted out of the University of Texas in 2011.
He was part of the Spurs 2014 NBA championship team and played well when Tony Parker sustained an injury during the regular season.
He averaged nearly 7 points per game during his final year in San Antonio.
In July 2015, Joseph signed a four-year, $30 million contract with his hometown team, the Toronto Raptors.
Last season he averaged a career-high 9.3 points and 3.3 assists per game for the Raptors.
Adam Hanga, pick No. 59 in 2011 NBA Draft:
Hanga has been playing professionally in Europe since 2006-07, when he was 17 years old.
The Spurs selected Hanga in the second round of the 2011 draft and he has developed into one of the best defenders in Europe.
He was named 2017 EuroLeague Best Defender and named twice to the All-Spanish League Team (2016, 2017).
Hanga has expressed his desire to make the jump to the NBA, and the upcoming season may be ideal for the Hungary native to do so with San Antonio.
DeJuan Blair, pick No. 37 in 2009 NBA Draft:
Blair was drafted in the second round of the 2009 draft and had an immediate impact as a bench player.
He averaged a career-high 9.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game during the 2011-12 regular season.
Blair’s time with the Spurs did not end well. He reportedly was not happy with a limited role off the bench in 2013, and left the Spurs the next season.
George Hill, pick No. 26 in 2008 NBA Draft:
Hill played three seasons with San Antonio and quickly became a fan and one of head coach Gregg Popovich’s favorite players.
Hill’s work ethic and improvement earned him key minutes during his final two seasons in San Antonio.
He averaged 12 points and nearly three assists per game for the Spurs during the 2009-10 and 2010-11 regular seasons.
The Spurs traded Hill to Indiana during the 2011 NBA Draft in exchange for the 15th pick of the draft, which turned out to be current Spurs superstar Kawhi Leonard.
Hill has had a successful career since the trade and averaged 17 points and 4.2 assists per game this season for Utah.
Goran Dragic, pick No. 45 in 2008 NBA Draft:
What could be the best Spurs draft pick in the past decade never officially suited up for the Silver & Black.
San Antonio drafted Dragic in the second round of the 2008 draft and traded his rights to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for the draft rights to Malik Hairston.
Dragic did not have a major impact in the league early in his career, but improved greatly in the 2011-12 regular season and has since been a consistent scorer and playmaker in the league.
Dragic averaged a career-high 20.3 points with nearly six assists per game last season in Miami. He was also named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2014.
Tiago Splitter, pick No. 28 in 2007 NBA Draft:
The Spurs selected Splitter in the first round of the 2007 draft, and after years of success in Spain, he signed with San Antonio in 2010.
Splitter played four seasons in San Antonio, winning an NBA championship in 2014.
He averaged a career-high 10.3 points and over six rebounds per game the season prior.
In 2015, Splitter was traded to Atlanta in a move to clear up cap space for the Spurs to sign LaMarcus Aldridge in free agency.
Splitter has since struggled with injuries and not played more than 36 regular season games over the past two seasons.
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