Everyone remembers who the San Antonio Spurs took during the 1997 NBA Draft with the overall No. 1 pick. With three draft choices this year and the highest coming 30th, there will surely be no Tim Duncan available. However, if you know anything about San Antonio, you know they scout talent and develop players like nobody else.
Even so, some of the Spurs’ selections over the seasons haven’t even played a game for San Antonio.
Felipe Lopez, No. 24 overall in the 1998 draft, was shipped to the Vancouver Grizzlies for Antonio Daniels, who along with Steve Kerr was the backup to Avery Johnson on the Spurs’ first title team. Their No. 29 pick in the 1999 draft, Leon Smith, was traded to the Dallas Mavericks for Gordon Giricek, who also never played for San Antonio despite being a strong 3-point sniper.
Robertas Javtokas, the 57th pick in the 2001 draft, also never played for the Spurs. The 6’11”, 270-lb Javtokas helped Lithuania finish fourth during the 2004 Olympics.
Then there was the 26th pick in the 2002 draft, John Salmons, who was traded from San Antonio to the Philadelphia 76ers for Speedy Claxton (won his only championship with the Spurs during his lone season with San Antonio in 2003).