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Spurs GM Wright says approach to NBA Draft is best player available as usual

The Spurs GM also spoke about the future of Lonnie Walker IV in San Antonio.

SAN ANTONIO — The San Antonio Spurs have four picks in the 2022 NBA Draft. Three in the first round at 9, 20 and 25, and one in the second round at 38.

And should the Spurs keep all their picks or trade a few, when the team is on the clock, there should be no surprise to how they'll handle it.

For San Antonio, it will be the best player-available approach as usual.

"We're always going into the draft trying to find the best possible prospect for the long term of the organization," said Spurs General Manager, Brian Wright, during a Zoom conference call.

A look at the roster, and it is glaring that the team needs to add size at the center and forward positions.

Many mock drafts have the Spurs selecting Memphis' Jalen Duren who could fill the depth at center/forward.

However, heading into the NBA Draft, Wright isn't closing the door on selecting another guard to add to the roster if it means building out the team into the future to bring the franchise back to NBA prominence.

"We can add size. We can add guards," said Wright. "We have to continue to build this out. We've always taken the approach of best available player."

He continued with, "And if the best available player is a guard, we have no issue taking that person."

The Spurs have taken that approach in recent drafts.

Last season, the team selected Josh Primo at No. 12 looking to play the long game, and early returns on his NBA development are promising.

San Antonio took forward Devin Vassell at No. 11 in 2020, and he's proven to be a solid NBA player. 

The team whiffed on selecting forward Luka Samanic in 2019 at No. 19, but did pick swingman Lonnie Walker IV in 2018 at No. 18, forward Keldon Johnson at No. 29 in 2019, and guard Derrick White at No. 29 in 2017. All have proven to be quality NBA contributors.

"You figure things out," Wright said. "That's how we've always approached it and will continue to approach the draft."

There should be no surprises from the San Antonio draft war room come Thursday night in New York City.

The plan is clear: Wright is looking long-term in this current team rebuild and looking to add skilled players over positional needs.

"I think what you've seen throughout the league this year it's skills and how they complement each other," Wright said. "It's not just positions and size. Especially watching the playoffs. You see teams playing all guards, all wings, one big, it changes from series-to-series or game-to-game. So what we would hope to have is versatility."

WAITING TO SPEAK WITH LONNIE WALKER IV 

One of the bigger storylines in this Spurs' offseason is the future of Lonnie Walker IV.

Walker is a restricted free agent and the Spurs can match any offer made his way, re-sign him outright, or let him walk.

Credit: AP
San Antonio Spurs guard Lonnie Walker IV (1) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, March 9, 2022, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

And as of now, the Spurs and Walker have not spoken but will down the road.

"We'll wait for the appropriate time to spend time to talk to his representatives and him as well," Wright said.

Walker had a career-season in points per game (12.1), assists per game (2.2), and field goal shooting (48%) in 2021-22.

He had a big second half of the season becoming more consistent and Wright figures that will lend to any negotiations ahead for all sides.

"He's done a phenomenal job in his development over the years," Wright said. "We saw the consistency he brought especially in the second-half of the season where he really hit his stride."

Twitter: @KENS5, @JeffGSpursKENS5

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