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SI's NBA Mock Draft: Spurs Add Versatility to Frontcourt in 1st Round

The Spurs make selections close to home as well as from the international pool in Sports Illustrated's most recent mock draft

The possibilities seem to be endless for the San Antonio Spurs heading into the 2022 NBA Draft. A team that has been guard-focused in the draft in recent years has some intriguing frontcourt options to choose from as June 23 approaches, and it seems like Sports Illustrated feels the team and general manager Brian Wright will lean this way. 

SI released its latest mock draft Monday and has the Spurs making some interesting selections via three first-round picks. 

No. 9 overall - Jeremy Sochan, Forward, Baylor

Sochan's natural ability to defend multiple positions and the raw talent to create scoring opportunities on his own is invaluable to a budding team like the Spurs, who need just a few more pieces to get over the short playoff hump. At 6-9, 230, and only 18-years-old, Sochan blossoms with NBA potential and could be one of many fine selections for San Antonio at this spot. 

Sochan averaged 9.2 points, 6.4 rebounds (led the team), 1.8 assists, and 1.3 steals in 25.1 minutes per game this past season. Getting only one start, he primarily came off the bench in a key sixth-man role down the season's final stretch as the Baylor roster was plagued with injury.

No. 20 overall - Nikola Jovic, Forward, Serbia

SI has San Antonio snagging highly-touted international prospect Jovic, who offers unique offensive ability with loads of room for growth.

Like Sochan, Jovic will be just 19-years-old once the draft rolls around, but differs in that he might take a bit more time to adjust to the league. He's eerily similar to Luka Samanic, the Spurs' 2019 first-round selection that excelled as a shooter with impressive length that lacked defensive instincts and intensity. The team released Samanic prior to this past season. 

But Jovic has continued to rise up draft boards since the combine and has much more upside as a playmaker, and is certainly worth a late first-round flyer at No. 20 overall. Combining him with Sochan gives the Spurs some much-needed frontcourt depth to build on. 

No. 25 overall - Patrick Baldwin Jr., Forward, Milwaukee

Baldwin has been labeled as one of the purest shooters in this draft class despite playing at a mid-major line Milwaukee that struggled mightily against middling competition in the Horizon League this past season. 

As a freshman this past season, Baldwin showed his league-ready 3-point form but was quite inefficient from that range at just 26.6 percent. He might have benefited from staying another year in college, but he's been a riser on draft boards as of late.

Baldwin had a favorable showing at the NBA Combine and has the size, shot, and potential that will be hard to pass up on. He's another young 19-year-old that will be raw to begin his NBA career. He'll likely slip into the second round, but if he lands with the Spurs, combining his size and length with Sochan and Jovic would make this draft a successful one for San Antonio.

You can follow Zach Dimmitt on Twitter at @ZachDimmitt7

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