The 2010 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft is still(!) underway, with each SB Nation blogger making selections for their respective teams. BlaseE from Pounding the Rock, the San Antonio Spurs blog for SB Nation, checks in to make the twentieth overall selection in this year's mock draft.
With the twentieth overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NBA Mock Draft, the San Antonio Spurs select Hassan Whiteside, power forward-center, Marshall Thundering Herd.
BlaseE explains: I'm likely picking against what many Spurs fans want, but I don't care - I think I might have that in common with the Spurs front office.
So the first major criticism against my pick is that we need a Small forward to backup Richard Jefferson - or replace him. I don't have enough confidence in any small forwards remaining to impact the roster during the Duncan window while simultaneously helping our transition away from Duncan to warrant the selection. I don't see any of the small forwards helping us more than Malik Hairston, Alonzo Gee, Marcus Williams (Scott's Note: D-League Represent!) or a possible veteran pickup could unless Paul George or Luke Babbitt drop by some miracle like no ACL's. I believe in those guys we have invested time into. Remember Hairston was injured for the playoffs and Gee was the D-L RotY and a huge blunder by Washington (in that they let him go). Bogans could also always be back for another year of the veteran minimum.
Our other position of need is at the 5. I believe Tiago Splitter will come, but even with Splitter, we need depth. I recently looked at who our Summer League roster might be in Vegas, and my only thoughts on center were Ian Mahinmi (FA) and Luke Bonner (Mike Gansey's favorite 7-foot white rapper. Ever). We need some youth at the 5. If we get both Splitter and Whiteside, I'd like to see Whiteside balance his time in Austin for minutes and in SA for experience.
Whiteside is arguably the 'Best Player Available'. He is a shot blocker, leading the NCAA last year in blocks per game, per 40 possessions, and per 40 minutes. All Spurs fans agree that a shot-blocking big is something we want. He's a good rebounder and efficient scorer as well. His defense isn't great, but this draft pick is for depth, potential, athleticism, and the future. I guess the other two serious contenders for C are Daniel Orton and Larry Sanders. Most of our bigs are currently on the shorter side of 6'10" so I'd prefer 7'0" Whiteside to 6'9" Sanders. I'm picking Whiteside over Orton for his shot blocking. By the way, I would have taken Alabi over Whiteside.
I wrote some more and deleted it, but I'm more than happy to debate, discuss and explain some more in the comments. As sort of a disclaimer, I'm not a scout and am basing my BPA decision on what I've read about these players. I haven't seen much of any of them first hand. Hopefully, that is something I do not have in common with the Spurs front office.
Ridiculous Upside reacts: Another value pick considering Whiteside was considered a potential top-10 pick based on his college career.
The Spurs, a team that obviously knows how to use the NBA Development League, are a perfect spot for a possible project like Whiteside to land. It would be great to see him mature in the D-League for at least part of his rookie campaign.
Ridiculous Upside's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Damion James, SF, Texas. 2 - Larry Sanders, PF/C, VCU. 3 - Daniel Orton, C, Kentucky. 4 - Stanley Robinson, F, Connecticut. 5 - Quincy Pondexter, F, Washington.
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of Whiteside heading to the Spurs?
And please, remember to check out Pounding the Rock for everything you need to know about San Antonio.