With free agents Matt Bonner and Boris Diaw possibly on their way out, the San Antonio Spurs needed to get a stretch-4. Filling that necessity was their 30th pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, 6’9″ Kyle Anderson out of UCLA.
Anderson is considered a small forward, despite running the point for the Bruins this past season. Kyle has the ability to play any of four positions, which needless to say is a commodity San Antonio does not mind.
Anderson’s nickname at UCLA was “Slo Mo” for his lack of athleticism. With a high basketball IQ, Kyle ranked top five in the Pacific-12 Conference in terms of points (14.6), rebounds (8.8), assists (6.5) and steals (1.8) per game as a sophomore.
Spurs Take Passed Over, Versatile Kyle Anderson At No. 30
The last Bruin before Anderson to average at least 10 points, five boards and five dimes per game was Bill Walton in the early 1970s. Anderson only had nice things to say after being drafted by San Antonio.
“Guys really care about developing their players, and that’s something you can see from the outside. Watching the Spurs play, I can tell how well they share the ball. I think that’s one of my best attributes. I think I can fit into the offense really well once I learn the system,” said Anderson.
With that type of attitude, he will continue to develop and flourish into a solid San Antonio option off the bench. In a matter of weeks, the silver and black could be without Bonner or Diaw, so having another player who can play multiple positions is a wonderful luxury to have spotted in the draft.
Most mock drafts had Anderson much higher, which makes him falling to the Spurs at 30th seem rather shocking. DeJuan Blair (2009 37th pick) out of Pittsburgh rings a bell for San Antonio taking a chance on after being passed over by a number of NBA teams. Similar to Blair, Kyle will be out to make the teams who passed up on him pay.
Spurs Trade Two Second-Round Draft Picks For One To Get Serb Nemanja Dangubic
Just when it looked as if San Antonio wasn’t going to nab a foreigner in the 2014 NBA Draft, they traded their 58th and 60th picks for 54th pick Nemanja Dangubic.
Shooting guard Jordan McRae of Tennessee and power forward Cory Jefferson of Baylor, you’re going to the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets via a Spurs trade.
The 21-year-old Dangubic tallied 9.5 points and 3.5 rebounds per game last year for Mega Vizura in the Adriatic League. Possibly worth more acclaim was Nemanja being named Most Valuable Player of the recent Adidas EuroCamp in Italy.
Three other Serbs were taken in the NBA Draft, so what is it about Dangubic that San Antonio found so appealing? For one 6’8″ shooting guards with a reach of 8’7″ are extremely rare. Dare I say “Manu Ginobiliesque” is Nemanja.
Two picks prior Philadelphia selected 6’6″ guard Vasilije Micic of Serbia. According to DraftExpress.com Dangubic was projected to be the 46th choice.
Back to the Ginobili comparison. Manu was the 57th selection in the 1999 NBA Draft before coming over to the Spurs for the 2001-02 season. Nemanja has played professionally since 2011. When Dangubic’s time comes to play in San Antonio, he’ll only add to the imaginative passing and playmaking the Spurs’ system creates.