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10 Years of Spurs First Round Draft Picks

What follow is a look at the Spurs' drafts, as a corollary to the piece on the Blazers' picks. The main takeaway is this, I think: While the Spurs haven't had a high pick (I think #20 has been the highest), they haven't whiffed any of them (at least not yet--we'll see if James Anderson and Cory Joseph pan out). It's not that they've gotten great players, and there's often someone below that's better (there almost always is one or two second round gems), but they've hit value every single time late in the draft. Clearly they've got a really fine idea of what an NBA quality player is (and isn't). Obviously they're built around the great trio that came earlier, but they've kept nailing pieces to surround them. Now, truth be told, they've moved some of these pieces on quickly, but the initial picks are really quite impressive, I think, for drafting so late.

2002: John Salmons (26)/ Blazers took Qyntel Woods (22)

Better than: Nik Tskitshvili (5), Mel Ely, Marcus Haslip, Fred Jones, Bostjan Nachbar, Jiri Welsch, Juan Dixon, Curtis Borchardt (18); Ryan Humphrey (19), Ryan Humphrey, Kareem Rush, ), Casey Jacobsen, Frank Williams

Worse than: Carlos Boozer (35)

2003: Leandro Barbosa (28)/Blazers took Travis outlaw (23)

Better than: T. J. Ford (?), Mike Sweetney, Jarvis Hayes, Mickael Pietrus, Marcus Banks, Luke Ridnour (?), Reece Gaines, Troy Bell, Zarko Cabarkapa, Alek Pavlovic, Dahntay Jones (?), Brian Cook, Ndudi Ebi

Worse than: Josh Howard (at least at his best), Mo Williams

2004: Beno Udrih (28)/Blazers took Sebastian Telfair (13)/Sergei Monia (23)

Better than: Rafael Araujo, Luke Jackson, Robert Swift, Seb Telfair, Pavel Podkolzin, Victor Khyrapa, Serei Monia,

Worse than: Anderson Varejao, Trevor Ariza

2005: Ian Mahinmi (27)/Blazers took Martell Webster (6) and Linus Kleiza (27); Kleiza traded for J. Jack

Better than: Ike Diogu, Fran Vazquez, Y. Korolev, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Antoine Wright, Joey Graham, Julius Hodge, Luther Head, Johan Petro,

Worse than: David Lee, Brandon Bass, Ersan Ilyasova, Monta Ellis, Lou Williams, Marcin Gortat

2006: NONE/Blazers took Aldridge/Roy (after trades)

2007: Tiago Splitter (28)/Blazers took Oden (1)

Better than: Yi Jianlian, Acie Law IV, Julian Wright, Al Thornton, Sean Williams, Javaris Crittendon, Daequan Cook, Morris Almond

Worse than: Carl Landry, Glen Davis, Marc Gasol, Ramon Sessions

2008: George Hill (26); Blazers take Brandon Rush (13)/Darrell Arthur 27, trade for Bayless/Batum

Better than: Joe Alexander, D.J. Augustin (?), Brandon Rush, Anthony Randolph, Robin Lopez, Mareese Speights, Alexis Ajinca, Kosta Koufos

Worse than: Nik Pekovic (maybe), DeAndre Jordan (probably), Mario Chalmers (?), Goran Dragic (maybe--note that Spurs drafted him #45 but sent him to Phoenix)

2009: NONE

2010: James Anderson (20); Blazers take Luke Babbitt (16)

It's a little early to say; not clear that anyone after him is clearly better (probably Fields and Vasquez);

2011: Cory Joseph (29), trade George Hill for Kawhi Leonard (#15)

too early to say, but clearly Leonard is a player.

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