The Spurs selected Kyle Anderson with the No. 30 pick in the NBA draft on Thursday. Here’s a look at Anderson and how he fits with San Antonio:
Bio: UCLA | Sophomore | Small forward
Vitals: 6-8, 230 pounds
2013-14 stats: 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds, 6.5 rebounds, 1.8 steals, 48.3 FG%
Strengths: It’s hard to predict how Anderson will fare in the NBA because it’s been a long time since we’ve seen a prospect with a similar skill set. Anderson has an excellent feel for the game that really shines through in his passing. Last season he posted a 34.3 assist rate, one of the top-25 marks in the country. His nickname – Slo-Mo – is well earned, as Anderson often looks like he’s operating at a leisurely pace. But don’t be fooled: Anderson beats defenders with hesitations and clever dribbles. Anderson also uses his good instincts and positioning to contribute on the defensive glass, where last season he pulled down 25.5 percent of opponents’ misses, a top-30 rate.
Weaknesses: One of Anderson’s biggest assets in college -- his size, relative to other players at his position -- won’t be as helpful in the NBA, where quicker, stronger defenders could neutralize him. A lack of top-end athleticism will hurt Anderson on both ends of the floor. The range of crafty moves he used to break down college defenders may not work as well, and he could wind up being a liability on the defensive end. With Anderson seemingly too slow to match up with point guards and too weak to bang with big men, how will he be deployed defensively?
Team Fit: Anderson has been dubbed lately as the philosophical successor to Boris Diaw. Now, he’ll get to play alongside him. One of, if not the, best passers in the draft, Anderson’s basketball IQ and size falls into the perfect situation with the Spurs, who always seem to have a plan for their draft picks and will gladly fit him into their culture. His lack of elite athleticism should still play in their system. This is an ideal scenario for Anderson, and who can question the Spurs front office?