Behind the Spurs 2017 Draft Picks

The 2017 NBA Draft snuck up on us fast, and on the Spurs… not so much.  The Spurs had one of the last picks of the Draft with No. 29 overall and No. 59 in Round 2.

Last year, the Spurs took point guard Dejounte Murray from Washington. Murray ended up being a valuable asset to the Spurs when Tony Parker was out for the remainder of the season with a quad injury. The Spurs have found young players that have been making meaningful contributions to the team.

Plus, can you name a better talent scout duo than Spurs General Manager R.C. Buford and Spurs Head Coach Gregg Popovich? In the past 2 decades, they’ve consistently been able to find the hottest talent near the end of the draft.

Round 1, Pick 29 (No. 29 overall): Derrick White

When White was playing basketball in high school, he didn’t even have a D-1 offer. White only played Division I basketball for one season, and now he’s a first-round draft pick.

White started college basketball at Division II University of Colorado – Colorado Springs. After three seasons, he transferred to University of Colorado – Boulder to play basketball. He had to sit out his first year due to NCAA transfer rules. Once he was able to officially play with the Buffaloes, he thrived. He averaged 18.1 points and 4.1 rebounds a night behind a blistering 50.7 shooting from the field and 39.6 percent shooting from three-point range.

White has some pretty big shoes to fill since Dejounte Murray is the only healthy point guard on the Spurs roster right now. Plus, Patty Mills is an unrestricted free agent, Tony Parker is out for who knows how much longer, and Manu Ginobili is on the verge of retirement.  According to ESPN analytics projections, there is a 4.57% chance he will be a role player within his first 5 seasons, but only a 0.39% chance he will be an All-Star.

Although White doesn’t have one area where he excels, he does everything well enough to succeed. He performs well on defense, but it’s not very likely that he will be able to check bigger guards in the league. Even though he can get to the rim, he struggles with finishing through contact. His height gives him an advantage because he can get a good view of the floor. Although, he doesn’t always play with urgency, and we know the Spurs won’t let that fly.

Buford says he’s just an all-around good basketball player. “He’s not really a point guard. He’s not really an off-guard. He’s a guard.”

White is excited and eager to join the Spurs. “Crazy to be a part of the Spurs organization. They have a great history, and Coach Pop has done an amazing job there, and I just want to get there and join the Spurs way.”

Round 2, Pick 29 (No. 59 overall): Jaron Blossomgame

Blossomgame is a small forward from Clemson, standing at 6’7.” Some would say he’s a ready-made NBA forward. His biggest issue is his lack of consistency. Blossomgame may have only shot 25% from three in his senior year, but he shot 44% in his junior year. In his last three seasons, he did average between 48% and 51% shooting. He played all four years at college, averaging 13.5 points and 6.5 rebounds. He also averaged a whopping 30.7 minutes per game. During his junior year, he was selected to join the All-ACC First Team.

Even though he’s a strong defensive player, he is weak on offense. Even the NBA Draft said his jump shots aren’t fluid or consistent, and he doesn’t get enough elevation. Blossomgame will most likely get a chance to show his talent on the Spurs Summer League Team, but we expect a future with the G-League (formerly known as the D-League).

Hanging Up the Silver & Black

We recently learned that Pau Gasol and David Lee have both declined their offers to continue with the Spurs next season. This opened up $16.2 million in roster space from Gasol and $1.6 million from Lee. Rumors say that Gasol is hoping to sign to a long-term deal with the Spurs, but we haven’t heard any news from Lee. Plus, LaMarcus Aldridge is ready to get out of San Antonio as fast as he can. In 2015, he signed a 4-year contract with the Spurs, but he has grown unhappy with the organization – blaming them for his poor games.

If you’re eager to catch the next Spurs roster in action, follow Zero Nose Bleeds to make sure you’ll get your hands on the first tickets of the 2018 NBA season.



27th June 2017