SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs had much success drafting late in the first round of the NBA Draft.
Especially in the late 20s.
In 2019 it was Keldon Johnson (29). In 2017 it was Derrick White (29). In 2016 it was Dejounte Murray (29). In 2008 it was George Hill (26) and even franchise great, Tony Parker, was picked No. 28 in 2001.
But lost in the shuffle is another late first-round gem the Spurs selected, guard Cory Joseph.
Joseph was San Antonio's 29th pick overall in 2011.
For four seasons Joseph wore the Silver and Black uniform and even helped the team capture the 2014 NBA title before signing with the Raptors in 2015.
Now with the Pistons, the former Spurs guard still has not forgotten his NBA roots
Speaking with Jefe Island, Joseph remains thankful for the opportunity San Antonio gave him.
"The opportunity was presented and I got drafted by the Spurs which was the best situation for me and for my career," Joseph said.
Joseph explained that ahead of his draft, his draft projection was wide. He was considered to be selected anywhere from the 20s and into the second round.
And fortunately for him, San Antonio took him with their late first round pick and it paid dividends.
He'd averaged 5.2 points per game, 1.9 assists per game, 1.4 rebounds per game and shot 47-percent from the field in his Spurs career.
Late in the 2013 season, he filled in admirably for the injured Parker and helped guide the Spurs to the 2013 NBA Finals.
He's flourished as a solid NBA guard playing with the Pacers and Kings during his NBA time.
Now going into his 11th NBA season, Joseph still holds the Spurs close to his heart and is grateful for the opportunity the franchise gave him back in 2011.
"I'm thankful every day I got drafted by them," he said.