By Trevor Zickgraf, Project Spurs.com
The college basketball season is about a month old, enough time to for draft geeks like me to start looking ahead to June's NBA Draft. The NBA Draft has always been less fun as a Spurs fan since they've always drafted at or near the end of the first round. Through the middle part of the last decade the Spurs either traded their draft picks or draft and stashed someone playing in Europe (see: Splitter, Tiago).
Five years ago there was sea change starting with drafting George Hill instead of European big guys like Nikola Pecovic and Omer Asik, who both were drafted early in the second round (I'll let you decide how that worked out, I'm cool with it). The next year DeJuan Blair was drafted early in the second round, then James Anderson, then the trade for Kawhi Leonard. As their core got older the Spurs draft plans went from help later to help now. Even last year, the Spurs followed that philosophy by surrendering their first round pick in the Richard Jefferson-Stephen Jackson trade. Jackson is a better fit than Jefferson and sacrificing the pick was worth it.
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