The Blue Route Mock Draft: Pick #29 – San Antonio Spurs

With the 29th pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the San Antonio Spurs select…

Blue Route is bringing you draft coverage leading up to the NBA draft on June 20th, 2019. The NBA draft often sees movement, trades, and drama, so to prepare you for various potential outcomes, the Blue Route will be giving you draft profiles for the all of the likely top picks, as well as our very own mock draft.

2019 NBA Mock Draft Results
  1. New Orleans Pelicans – Zion Williamson
  2. Memphis Grizzlies – Ja Morant
  3. New York Knicks – RJ Barrett
  4. Los Angeles Lakers – Jarrett Culver
  5. Cleveland Cavaliers – DeAndre Hunter
  6. Phoenix Suns – Coby White
  7. Chicago Bulls – Cam Reddish
  8. Atlanta Hawks – Sekou Doumbouya
  9. Washington Wizards – Bol Bol 
  10. Atlanta Hawks – Jaxson Hayes 
  11. Minnesota Timberwolves – Nickeil Alexander-Walker
  12. Charlotte Hornets – Darius Garland
  13. Miami Heat – PJ Washington
  14. Boston Celtics – Brandon Clarke
  15. Detroit Pistons – Rui Hachimura
  16. Orlando Magic – Goga Bitazde
  17. Atlanta Hawks (via trade with Brooklyn) – Nassir Little
  18. Indiana Pacers – Bruno Fernando
  19. San Antonio Spurs – Cam Johnson
  20. Boston Celtics – Talen Horton-Tucker
  21. OKC Thunder – Tyler Herro
  22. Boston Celtics – Romeo Langford
  23. Utah Jazz – Matisse Thybulle
  24. Philadelphia 76ers – Kevin Porter Jr.
  25. Portland Trail Blazers – Grant Williams
  26. Cleveland Cavaliers – Dylan Windler
  27. Brooklyn Nets – Keldon Johnson
  28. Golden State Warriors – Mfiondu Kabengele

Current State of the San Antonio Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs, as usual with coach Gregg Popovich, are in win-now mode, and are running it back with most of their 2018-19 roster intact. The Spurs have just over $100 million on the book for the 2019-20 season, and more than half of that money is going to their two cornerstones, DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge.

The rest of their roster, in order of highest to lowest salary is: Davis Bertans, Pau Gasol, Marco Belinelli, Jakob Poeltl, Bryn Forbes, Lonnie Walker, Dejounte Murray, Derrick White, and Chimezie Metu. Along with these players, the Spurs also have the 19th, 29th, and 49th picks in the 2019 NBA Draft.

They won’t be big spenders in free agency, being that they don’t have much wiggle room, which means (in typical Spurs fashion) it’ll be improvement through development. Poeltl, Forbes, Walker, Murray, and White are guys to watch next season; there’s something in the water down in San Antonio – players develop. It’ll be a fun team to watch, and I’d be shocked if they’re not in the playoffs again. 

Looking ahead into 2019 Free Agency

With their available cap space, the Spurs will simply look to fill out their rotation with depth pieces and veterans to support the youth of their current roster, as well as 2019 draftees. Maybe Danny Green goes back to the Spurs? Maybe Bojan Bogdanovic, the Spursiest player not on the Spurs, goes to San Antonio.

They have so many players under contract already, which leads me to believe that they’re not going to spend the available space on multiple pieces, but rather all of it on one guy; maybe someone like Jonas Valanciunas to bolster their big-man rotation, or Jeremy Lamb to add to their wing arsenal.

The Selection – Carsen Edwards

The Spurs have a handful of capable guards/forwards, however there’s nothing wrong with adding another one to the mix for the purpose of competition – may the best man win the spot in the rotation. Carsen Edwards has the attitude to thrive under coach Popovich in San Antonio. He is a positive kid, and although he’s only 6’1″, he looks like a running back and plays like one (with a decent jump shot).

Carsen Edwards averaged 24.3 points per game for Purdue last season as a third-year collegiate. Even though the scoring numbers are there, he does still have some things to work on, which is a large reason why he falls to pick 29 in the 2019 NBA Blue Route Mock Draft.

He averaged more turnovers than assists and that is a no-no for a 6-foot, 1-inch guard who would most likely be too undersized to play the shooting guard position. He averaged 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 steals in 35.4 minutes, which is also strange. That’s a lot of time to be on the court in college basketball, and one would assume his counting stats would be a little more inflated because of it.

Rookie Prediction

I would assume Carsen Edwards spends a lot of his time with the Austin Spurs, developing his game. Along with his scoring instinct, another good sign was his free throw percentage pattern. He shot 74.3 percent from the line as a freshman, 82.4 percent as a sophomore, and 83.7 percent as a junior. Every year it got better, and foul shooting usually reflects shooting touch.

If those numbers are telling a story, it reads that he is getting better, which is on brand for anyone playing for the Spurs and Gregg Popovich. I expect Edwards to be an absolute stud in the G League, averaging close to 30 points a night, however I don’t see his NBA time really coming anywhere close to that of most first rounders in this draft.

Projected Stats, Per Game: 12 games played. 4.7 minutes, 2.9 points, 0.8 assists, 1.0 turnover, 0.8 rebounds, 0.5 steals, and 0.0 blocks per game. If you want to see some sexy stats, watch him play in Austin this coming season (and the Vegas Summer League). The dude gets buckets.