San Antonio Spurs are in a very different position after 23 years as the franchise will pick at 11th on the upcoming NBA Draft this October. The highest since the Spurs selected Tim Duncan back in 1997 first pick overall. After missing the postseason in Orlando the front office have a chance to get the team much better. While pundits labeled this draft as the weakest in terms of talents, the Spurs already established themselves as the best in terms of investing in their rookies. In NBA mock drafts, the Spurs have like Aaron Nesmith, Devin Vassel, or Patrick Williams on the 11th. But like we’ve expected the Spurs choose a guy who’s named tough to read, either guy came from different parts of the planet. It means the Spurs doesn’t care about mock drafts or expert big boards.
Like last year, the Spurs surprised everybody for drafting Luka Samanic from Croatia. So this time, if the Spurs pick Jalen Smith out of Maryland don’t get shocked. Back in January, R.C. Buford watched Smith game in college. Prior to this, he personally sends somebody in Europe for scouting Deni Advija.
Back to Jalen Smith, he’s a power forward who can help his team become competitive. Only 20 years old that averages a double-double in 31 games on college with 21 double-doubles. Also a dominant force in the rim defensively with 2.4 blocks per game. Jalen Smith is efficient on his offense (54%) while shooting 37% from the college three. The only weakness in his game is passing which is understandable for the young kid.
This makes sense for the Spurs as two of their losses on the bubble are due to lack of size. LaMarcus Aldridge is in the final year of his contract plus his age at 35 he’s not that athletic anymore to create more havoc on the court. With anyone believes he’s leaving via trade or in free agency it’s rightful for the Spurs to pick another guy who can balance the team attack if they have Jalen Smith. We also witness that Jakob Poeltl had limitations offensively. The fourth-year big man from Utah found himself in foul trouble when facing the NBA’s elite big man. Once Jalen Smith on Spurs uniforms this problem could be minimized. The young man is insurance for the Spurs if Jakob Poeltl leaves via free agency.
Also at 20 years old, Smith is just perfect for the Spurs young guys. The big man runs in transition both ends of the court. With multiple playmakers in San Antonio, it could give them a better chance to score on a high percentage. The big man is hard to stop in pick and roll, as he knows how to take care of the ball from the guard’s hands. Jalen Smith knows how to move without the ball to find the best places to score. He’s too physical inside at 6’10” to give his team another second chance as he fights for offensive rebounds. Another good thing is, he shoots on a high clip from the arc at 38%. Smith had a great showing with a pick and pop from the rainbow. His shooting form is a little awkward but the stroke to make it is highly anticipated. Smith have multiple moves to create on his own offensively, he’s not your common athletic big man that is waiting for the ball to lob it on the rim. The sophomore from Maryland can post up, he can also dribble with his quickness.
The capability of Smith to play on both ends will give them an edge in every clutch situation. This kid is just a perfect project for the Spurs once he fully developed his game. With two years in college, Jalen Smith could play right away in Spurs uniform.
Again, the Spurs doesn’t care about what experts said, they only followed their own big board. THEIR ONLY BIG BOARD.