Spurs Draft Strategy May Not Focus On New Talent

| by Max Wohlmuth

With the 2014 NBA Draft nearing, the San Antonio Spurs have the difficult task of finding impactful, new players for their roster. The newly crowned champions have the 30th, 58th, and 60th pick in the draft. Although, many key players will be entering free agency, the Spurs are potentially better off resigning their free agents and trading away draft picks.

As of now, Boris Diaw, Patty Mills, Matt Bonner and Aron Baynes will be free agents. Of the four, Diaw and Mills played more vital roles in their Finals victory over the Miami Heat.

After his most recent performance in the Finals, the Spurs will have some competition in making Mills a competitive offer. However, if Mills does find a new home, the Spurs have Cory Joseph as a backup.

The power forward situation in San Antonio is a little different. Diaw and Bonner are both free agents, so the Spurs can lose both of them. Diaw, who guarded both LeBron James and Chris Bosh in the Finals, will be more of a priority for the Spurs when compared with Bonner. So, San Antonio will first focus on negotiating a new contract with Diaw before Bonner.

What do the Spurs do with their picks if they are not able to trade them away?

Luckily for head coach Gregg Popovich, there are a slew of international players to choose from. First, there is Bogdan Bogdanovic. He is a Serbian shooting guard capable of making a lot of long-range baskets. Manu Ginobli and Danny Green are both free agents after next season. The Spurs might want to ensure they have someone aside from Marco Belinelli at shooting guard in the event both Ginobli and Green leave. Thus, Bogdanovic is an option.

San Antonio may also heavily consider drafting a power forward to play behind Duncan if Bonner and Diaw are not resigned. Once again, Popovich can go international by selecting Walter Tavares. Tavares, from Cape Verde, began playing basketball at age 17. Currently, the 22-year-old measures seven feet three inches and plays in the Spanish league Liga ACB. He has great upside potential and the Spurs would likely send Tavares to the NBA D-League to develop his skills before playing in the NBA.

Another option at power forward is Alec Brown, a seven foot center from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Brown shot 44 percent from beyond the arc last year. Although he does not have the most dominating post play, he has the ability to take defenders off the dribble and face up near the basket. His quickness gives him advantage over players similar in height.

Figuring out what the Spurs will do in the draft may be challenging for the franchise. Yet, as a team with an impressive eye for selecting quality players from all over the world, those following the draft can count on the Spurs making a smart decision.