2017 NBA Draft preview: San Antonio Spurs

2017 NBA Draft preview: San Antonio Spurs
San Antonio Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard (2) scores against the Memphis Grizzlies during the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

NBA.com draft preview by Fran Blinebury

2017 Draft picks: 29, 59
2016-17 record: 61-21, first place in the Southwest division, lost in the conference finals to GSW

Areas of Strength

In his six NBA seasons, Kawhi Leonard has steadily built himself into an all-around force on both ends of the court and is a finalist for the 2016-17 MVP Award.  He carried a Spurs team that was playing for the first time in two decades without icon Tim Duncan to an amazing 61-win season and a 23-point lead on Golden State in the opener of the WCF before a sprained ankle ended his year.

Needs Work

It’s not so much that rookie Dejounte Murray needs work so much as sheer experience.  A leg injury cost him a valuable month of playing time and now the process will have to speed up with veteran point guard Tony Parker on the shelf with a torn quadriceps.  The Spurs could lose Patty Mills in free agency and need somebody to run the show.

Two Stats That Matter

.391 -- Coach Gregg Popovich hates the three-point shot and will freely tell you that. But he also knows that is in today’s game, you’ve got to use it and his Spurs are tops in the league at connecting from downtown.

18 -- Death, taxes and the Spurs winning 50 games are the real certainties in life.  They’ve done it every season since 1999-2000 in an NBA record display of consistency that is mind-boggling.  In extending the string 18 in a row, the Spurs blasted right through the half-century mark to finish with 61 wins.

The Way to Go

“Manu Ginobili may retire and Tony Parker could miss months to start next season, but No. 29 is no place to target a specific position, or expect immediate help. The late-20s/early-30s should be rich with big men, including Bam Adebayo, Caleb Swanigan, Anzejs Pasecniks, Jonathan Jeanne and Jordan Bell.” - Scott Howard-Cooper, NBA.com

2016-17 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions, with NBA rank)
Offensive: 108.8 (7th)
Defensive:  100.9 (1st)

Under Contract
G: Bryn Forbes
G: Dejounte Murray
G: Tony Parker
G/F: Kyle Anderson
G/F: Danny Green
F:LaMarcus Aldridge
F: Davis Bertans
F: Kawhi Leonard

Free Agents
G: Manu Ginobili (unrestricted)
G: Patty Mills (unrestricted)
G/F: Jonathon Simmons (restricted)
F/C: David lee (unrestricted)
C: Joel Anthony (unrestricted)
C: Dewayne Dedmon (unrestricted)
C: Pau Gasol (unrestricted)

Recent Draft History

2016: Dejounte Murray (29)
2015: Nikola Milutinov (26); Cady Lalanne (55)
2014: Kyle Anderson (30)
2013: Livio Jean-Charles (28); Deshaun Thomas (58)
2012: Marcus Denmon (59)

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