San Antonio Spurs select Kyle Anderson, Point Forward From UCLA


With the 30th pick in the NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs selected Kyle Anderson out of UCLA. Anderson is a 6’9″ forward who actually ran point at UCLA the last couple of years. He averaged 14.6 points, 6.5 assists and 8.8 rebounds per game. He’s probably the smartest player in the draft, but also could be the least athletic.

Long story short, Anderson should be able to contribute to the Spurs almost immediately because of his intelligence and improved shooting ability. At 6’9″, he has a really high release on this jump shot which makes it hard to block. He didn’t shoot a ton of three-pointers last season, but made 48 percent of the ones he took. The court vision is his biggest strength, and he also has the ability to play multiple positions offensively. Anywhere from point guard to power forward in stretches.

Where the Spurs will need to figure some things out is defensively. Anderson just isn’t athletic enough to stay in front of the more athletic wings in the league. But, he’s smart enough he should be able to figure out angles and play passing lanes thanks to his monstrous 7’3″ wing span. He needs to get stronger to defend power forwards, but that’s something the Spurs staff will help him with. I wrote a lot more about Anderson earlier in the season when I watched him go head-to-head with Aaron Gordon and the rest of Arizona’s ultra athletic front line.

The other thing I like about Anderson is he understands his strengths and weaknesses. He doesn’t try to things he can’t athletically and uses his head when he’s on the court. He’s embraced his lack of athleticism to the point his nickname is Slo-Mo and he’s even made it his name on his Twitter bio.

The Spurs second round went exactly like you expect a Spurs second round to go. The Spurs had two picks due to a trade with the Clippers half a decade ago. They then traded both of those picks in exchange for a European prospect. That prospect is Nemanja Dangubic, a member of Mega Vizura, which is based in Belgrade, Serbia. Admittedly, I don’t know a ton about Dangubic, but according to DraftExpress, he’s a 21-year-old, 6’8″ shooting guard who is defensive minded, likes to attack the basket but needs to work on his shot and get bigger. The site also notes he grew two inches over the past year, so he’s obviously still growing into his body. Dangubic recently participated in the Adidas EuroCamp where he struggled as a primary ball handler and excelled off the ball. Still, he played well enough he picked up camp MVP honors. I haven’t figured out what his buyout situation is, but it’s safe to say he’s at least two years from coming to the NBA. Oh, and he can get up.

Dangubic was originally selected 54th by the Philadelphia 76ers and then traded to the Spurs for the 58th and 60th picks. The 60th pick was then flipped to Brooklyn.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Why on Earth do you think he would come to San Antonio, though? Or is this just wishful thinking?

  • Tim in Surrey

    Yeah, that’s more or less what I’m thinking. He’s a player. Period. Sure, he has holes in his game and his body needs to develop. But last I checked the holes in his game are things that players can typically develop and the Spurs do as good a job of developing players as any team. But his assets–vision, passing, handle, length, intelligence, team-first attitude–are typically hard or impossible to develop. He’ll be a really good player for the Spurs and an interesting complementary player to pair with Kawhi going forward. There’s a reason everybody (EVERYBODY) rolled their eyes and laughed when the pick was announced. The Spurs just keep doing the smart thing and the rest of the league just keeps letting them.

  • Tim in Surrey

    Did you see Zach Lavine’s reaction to being drafted by Minnesota? Priceless, absolutely priceless:

  • Matt N Jennifer Jordan

    Agree with your reasoning, but the saying is you can’t coach athleticism, you CAN coach people up making good decision making and playing smarter,

  • interxavier

    I’m wondering if he can give us more offensive options when we’re up against Ibaka’s defense. Although we beat OKC convincingly in the playoffs, I’m worried we might not be so lucky next season.

  • DorieStreet

    Grizz just extended Zach Randolph 2 years, 20 Mil.

  • DorieStreet

    Six of the last eight western conference berths have been occupied by the Spurs and Thunder; it will be interesting to see who the pundits pick as favorites come early fall.

  • Len

    I just watched the highlights of last year’s UCLA vs DUKE game. I’m really starting to warm up to this Anderson. He is not as “unathletic” as he is made out to be. He has tremendous balance when attacking the basket. He can get past the 1st defender. He has the strength to finish at the rim with either hand while being defended. Kid can play. GSG :)

  • Governmentname

    He’s a Spurs type of player from his game to his personality. He would be willing to come to San Antonio for the same reason his brother Pau left town: to win championship & play for a legendary coach/team…’s not like Memphis is NYC nor an elite team. Their coach has 1 year experience.

  • Governmentname

    It’s no like they had a choice…not many folks want to play in Memphis.

  • Governmentname

    Danny Ainge will be out of the equation since Rondo will be traded this summer (2014) & will be a free-agent in 2015. The Spurs can do a sign-&-trade w/ the team that traded for him not Boston.

  • Anthony GC D’Andrea

    Fair point

  • Tyler

    That’s a good point. Playing alongside great vets that are going to do all the heavy lifting will give Anderson the opportunity to focus on what he does best. He’s not going to be asked to be the primary creator, the focal point of the offense. Similar to how Kawhi has developed, give Anderson tasks he can excel at from day one and build slowly on that.

  • MH

    I disagree. I think you can coach someone into making competent decisions, but IMHO, ungodly court vision is like ungodly hops: you either have it or you don’t.

  • MH

    Actually, the slight fade protects his shot even more, and being contested didn’t seem to bother him much. He had a great percentage on contested shots, high 40s closing on 50, IIRC.

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  • Lee Spurs

    You see, the Spurs system always works for anyone who is serious enough to be a part of such a great organization like the Spurs!!!! I know Kyle Anderson will fit well with the system but the question is, will his coming to the Spurs affect the future of Boris Diaw?

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