Giannis Adetokunbo, No. 28 (Mock Draft)
The Spurs take a gamble on an athletic point-forward.
by Maurice Bobb / @ReeseReport
Missed it by that much.
That about sums up the San Antonio Spurs, who, in Game 6, had their fifth NBA Championship all but sown up, if not for an errant rebound by Chris Bosh, who then kicked it out to Ray “Jesus Shuttlesworth” Allen in the corner pocket for the three.
It was the game of the decade. Oddly enough, Miami Heat fans left the game early because their first world problems—parking and traffic—were way more important than their team coming back from the dead.
Game 7 was even worse for the Spurs. After staying within striking distance, Tim Duncan missed a point blank layup and then a gimme put back that might have given them a chance.
“Game 7, missing a lay-up to tie the game, making a bad decision down the stretch,” Timmy D said. “Just unable to stop Dwyane and LeBron. Probably, for me, Game 7 is always going to haunt me.”
Everyone jokes about the Spurs being old, but there’s nothing funny about watching Tim Dizzle hold his head down. One of the best, if not the best, power forward in the game going down like that. It was hard to watch.
But somehow, Duncan had to pick up the pieces and come back for the ’13-14 season.
“I have a contract that says I am,” he said.
As for Tony Parker, there’s no doubt he’ll be back and ready to roll opposing point guards like a croissant. But Manu Ginobili? He looked like a shell of himself, turning the ball over like it was a bodily function. There’s no guarantee he’ll be back and even if he does come back, he won’t be someone coach Gregg Popovich can count on for that brilliant WTF play that brought the Alamo City three titles under his watch.
The bright side? Kawhi Leonard. This kid can ball for real. Who knew? He was steely, sure fire and money. Like Warren Buffet money. No doubt he’ll have a much bigger role on the squad for years to come. And dare I say it; this kid is bound for the All-Star team. You can pretty much book it.
A lot of what the Spurs need to do to improve and compete with the OKC’s of the world needs to come by way of trades and/or free agent acquisitions. As for the Draft, not a whole lot can be expected with a lowly 28th pick.
So without further ado…
With the 28th pick in the 2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft, the San Antonio Spurs select…
Giannis Adetokunbo from Greece.
Are you really surprised that the Spurs are rolling the dice on a foreign-born player? It’s been their modis operandi for years, so why stop now? It’s the Spurs way to outsmart every GM in the L by finding a diamond in the rough overseas and developing them into an All-Star. That’s what they did with Manu and TP and perhaps they can strike gold again with the 6-9 project that is Adetokunbo.
And don’t take that word lightly. Adetokunbo is a project. He won’t come over immediately because he ain’t ready. Not even close. That said, the Spurs can tuck him away to develop his offensive and defensive skills across the pond. Want projections? On the high end, he can be a Scottie Pippen-type player. Versatile, offensive-minded, space the floor, freakishly athletic. On the low end, he could be a Boris Diaw hybrid, which isn’t all that bad considering how well he played for Pop.
Want specs? The 18-year-old Adetokunbo, who fled unrest in his native Nigeria with his family as a child, has crazy hops and can run like a freakin’ gazelle up and down the floor. With his surprisingly court vision, he sees the floor well and can pass the rock like a PG.
GMs like to throw around the word “upside” like clowns throw pies around at the circus, but in this case, the word sticks like stink on a monkey. Adetokunbo’s got a 7-3 wingspan—can you say reach?—and he probably hasn’t stopped growing yet. He’ll undoubtedly develop his upper body and fill out more over time and here’s the kicker: He still hasn’t peaked athletically. He already plays above the rim, above the rim, so if he gets more uppies, defenders better guard their grill or wind up on a poster.
Even as a neophyte, Adetokunbo is silky smooth and has a great basketball IQ. And while critics say he hasn’t played any high-level competition yet, his skills shine through regardless. Take his ability to rebound the ball and take it coast-to-coast, for instance. One click on YouTube shows one such example where he takes it all the way for a rim-rockin’ SLAMADAMONTH.
Adetokunbo is projected as a point-forward type of player, but that remains to be seen when he touches down in the League. For now, he can continue to work on his game and grow as a player and come to the Spurs when he’s ready to step up and make his mark. I’d say give it four years, and he’ll suit up for the Spurs and be a player to watch.
|2013 SLAMonline Mock Draft|
|1||Cavs||Otto Porter||16||Celtics||Mason Plumee|
|2||Magic||Nerlens Noel||17||Hawks||Lucas Nogueira|
|3||Wizards||Anthony Bennett||18||Hawks||Tony Mitchell|
|4||Bobcats||Ben McLemore||19||Cavs||Sergey Karasev|
|5||Suns||Victor Oladipo||20||Bulls||Gorgui Dieng|
|6||Pelicans||Trey Burke||21||Jazz||Ricky Ledo|
|7||Kings||CJ McCollum||22||Nets||Dennis Schroeder|
|8||Pistons||Michael Carter-Williams||23||Pacers||Reggie Bullock|
|9||TWolves||Kentavious Caldwell-Pope||24||Knicks||Nate Wolters|
|10||Blazers||Shabazz Muhammad||25||Clippers||Jamaal Franklin|
|11||Sixers||Steven Adams||26||TWolves||Rudy Gobert|
|12||Thunder||Cody Zeller||27||Nuggets||Allen Crabbe|
|13||Mavs||Alex Len||28||Spurs||Giannis Adetokunbo|