Spurs Draft Combine interviewees trickle out

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While the San Antonio Spurs players and coaching staff were resting and preparing for the Oklahoma City Thunder late last week, members of the front office were in Chicago at the NBA Draft Combine. Though just as trivial yet way less hyped than its NFL counterpart, the combine has its uses. The athletic measurements can help you understand if what your eyes are seeing is real. That said, the measurements alone don’t tell the story.

The fun for front offices happens when they get 20 minutes to interview up to 18 prospects. We never see the full list of team interviews, but players are free to say who they interviewed with. Here’s what we could cobble together about who the Spurs talked to in Chicago:

Gary Harris says he interviewed with the Spurs.

These listed names are four of up to 18. Even with this limited information, we can glean a few things from this information. First off, all four of these prospects are projected first rounders. Each of them, with the exception of Anderson, are guards. Anderson is a 6’9″ player who ran point for UCLA. There’s an interesting comparison I’ve seen thrown out for Anderson and it’s Boris Diaw.

Both are unathletic, both are hyper-intelligent and both manage to use whatever are perceived as disadvantages to their advantage. With Diaw’s contract up this summer, it’s conceivable to say the Spurs are looking for their next Diaw type player.

Along those lines, the Spurs drafting Shabazz Napier would almost certainly signal San Antonio might be in oh crap, someone might pay Patty Mills A LOT of money, let’s get Napier just in case territory. I don’t even mean that in a bad way. Napier is a proven leader, two time national champion, can shoot and defend. He’s just a little undersized. Also, he’s 22 years old so there’s questions about how much upside he has left.

But before we get too far into analyzing guys, let’s again say these are less than a quarter of the total interviews allotted to each team. We’ll know more when we start hearing about the individual workouts that get scheduled.

Other notes:

- I try not to buy in to the hype of measurements or what I see on a highlight reel, but keep your eye on UCLA’s Zach LaVine. His projections are all over the board, but he’s incredibly athletic and can shoot from distance. He played both guard spots at UCLA. The only problem is he’s incredibly young, which made him maddeningly inconsistent. He’s at least a year away from contributing in any half-decent way on a NBA team, which is to say he’s so raw he may never contribute on a NBA team. The question for teams to figure out is how committed is the guy is to getting better. If you’re a team like the Spurs, which has been able to develop guys and focus on their best attributes, I think you jump at this guy. Watch the tape and tell me I’m wrong.

-I’ll save it for its own post, but as you watch the rest of the playoffs, ask yourself whether the Spurs need a young offensive weapon or another defensive weapon. On the surface it may seem like the answer is offense, but think about the age of most of the offensive weapons, especially on the perimeter. More on this in the coming weeks as work outs get going. The Spurs hold the 30th, 58th and 60th in this June’s draft.

  • Me

    Would kill for Kyle Anderson but he won’t be on the board by the time we pick.

  • Steve Tallent

    Sign Boris Diaw. Trade him for a higher pick. Wait 18 months. Pick him up for cheap on waiver wire . . . .

  • Jimbo

    LaVine is an intriguing player with a lot of upside, but I’d be shocked if he’s on the board when the Spurs pick. Maybe a trade will happen on draft day…

  • Matt C.

    Please stay, Patty.