What will the Spurs do with two top 10 picks in the 2024 NBA draft?

San Antonio has 4th, 8th picks in next month’s draft

Reed Sheppard (left), Donovan Clingan (middle) and Rob Dillingham (right) (AP Photo/Wade Payne, David J. Philip, Matthew Hinton)

The San Antonio Spurs are coming into the 2024 NBA Draft with a lot of options. Last year’s draft was an obvious decision. They took Victor Wembanyama with the first overall pick.

There is a lot more on the table this year. The team will have the ability to surround Wembanyama with more shooters and, perhaps, a point guard.

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The NBA Draft Lottery gave the Spurs the fourth pick in the draft while also already owning the eighth pick from the Toronto Raptors as part of the Jakob Poeltl trade. The trade gave Toronto’s pick to San Antonio if they dropped out of the top six picks. The Spurs also have two second-round picks, 35th and 48th selection.

Who should the Spurs select with their two top-10 picks? Let’s look at a few options they could have come draft night.

Young talent and big names in the Draft

Nikola Topić: One of the names you could hear Spurs fans most likely mention in the next few weeks is Serbian star Nikola Topić. After having another successful international season, the 18-year-old is considered one of the top prospects in the draft. Unfortunately, his knee injuries are problematic and could lead to teams not wanting to use a top pick on him. This past week, Topić sprained the same knee that he injured back in January which sidelined him for four months. The injury doesn’t appear to be as serious as his previous one. Topić is expected to make a full recovery come draft day but it doesn’t mean teams might do a double-take.

Rob Dillingham: The Kentucky Wildcat shooting guard could be one of the options the Spurs look to establish more of a deep shooting offense which could open up opportunities for Wembanyama to have more space in the paint. Dillingham averaged 15 points and four assists in the 32 games he played for the Wildcats in 2023-24. He also shot 44% from behind the three-point line as a freshman and drew a lot of attention to his ability to bring the Wildcats back from large deficits throughout the season.

Reed Sheppard: The Kentucky teammate of Dillingham, Sheppard is the son of former Wildcat and NBA player Jeff Sheppard. He is arguably the best shooter in the draft and would fill a major need for the Spurs immediately. At 6-foot-3, he can play on or off ball, but may have a tough time defensively due to his lack of length. Sheppard averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 assists and 2 turnovers in his freshman season, while hitting 52.1% of his threes.

Matas Buzelis: Buzelis is a 6-foot-10 Lithuanian-American wing who played for the G League Ignite team this past year. Buzelis averaged 14.3 points, 6.9 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 2.1 blocks and 0.8 steals per game while shooting 44.8% overall from the field. He’s been described as a modern NBA forward with good size and mobility and can play well and create off the dribble. The concern with Buzelis, however, is his low shooting percentage from 3-point range and the line, as he shot only 27.3% from three and 67.9% from the foul line this past year.

Jared McCain: One of Duke’s premiere guards made a huge impact as a freshman, taking the Blue Devils to the Elite Eight. He averaged 14 points and five rebounds and ran the Duke offense for most of the season. His ability to score the deep three as well as find playmakers could be a perfect fit for the Spurs’ 8th pick. Playmakers who have the ability to find Wembanyama is one way the Spurs can move forward offensively.

Other notable NBA Draft names

Jamal Shead: The Manor, Texas, native and University of Houston point guard was limited due to a late-season injury, but he was a big reason the Cougars were ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation back-to-back seasons. He averaged 13 points, four rebounds, and six assists last season and could be the point guard the Spurs need with a later selection.

Bronny James: Being the son of LeBron James already brings a lot of attention to the skills and career of the firstborn son. However, Bronny didn’t have the freshman season at the University of Southern California many expected him to have. James averaged five points and three rebounds in his only season of college basketball, and the Trojans missed out on the NCAA Tournament. LeBron has a player option for 2024-25 in his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers, so there’s a possibility that he could go to whichever team decides to draft his son.

Trading the picks for established veterans

Having multiple top-10 picks always puts a franchise like the Spurs in the position to make a trade with another team looking to rebuild their roster and get rid of veterans who might cost too much money. One trade option that has been rumored to have some traction includes the Spurs and Atlanta Hawks point guard, Trae Young.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young (11) drives to the basket against Dallas Mavericks forward Derrick Jones Jr. (55) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Mike Stewart) (Copyright 2037 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Another option that’s been talked about lately is going after Charlotte Hornets forward Grant Williams. After having a successful couple of years playing for the Boston Celtics, Williams bounced around to the Dallas Mavericks before landing in Charlotte. Williams averaged 13 points and five rebounds in 29 games as a Hornet in 2023-24.

Williams’ strengths include the ability to stretch a defense with perimeter shooting while also bringing toughness and tenacity on defense. Having another big man isn’t on the list of what is desperately needed this offseason in San Antonio, but it’s an option if Williams is acquired in a multi-team trade.

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - APRIL 05: Franz Wagner #22 of the Orlando Magic guards Grant Williams #2 of the Charlotte Hornets in the fourth quarter during their game at Spectrum Center on April 05, 2024 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) (2024 Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

The Spurs’ biggest advantage in this draft is their options: keeping their valuable draft picks or leveraging them with current roster pieces in order to acquire an established point guard.

The possibilities are endless for the Silver and Black.

About the Author

Nick Mantas is a KSAT 12 Sports Editor. He has previously worked in Lansing, San Fransisco and Abilene. Nick earned a Master's Degree in Sports Media from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism and a Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of Arizona, where he also interned as a strength and conditioning coach.

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