Spurs also investigated many non-lottery prospects in Chicago

With so much focus on Spurs owning their ninth overall win in the NBA in 2022...

GB About: Spurs Publish: 05/24/2022 Edit: 05/24/2022 Author: Gardener

ChicagoJohn Butler Jr. attends the NBA Draft Combine at Wintrust Arena on Friday, May 20, 2022 in Chicago. Patrick Baldwin Jr. will attend the 2022 NBA Draft Combine on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 in Chicago. G League Ignite's MarJon Beauchamp trains with the team Tuesday, Sept. G League Ignite's MarJon Beauchamp catches a pass during a practice session with the team Tuesday, Sept. taking the ball to new heights as they catch LeBron James during the 2014 NBA Finals and shredded the Miami Heat in five games. "It was amazing," Procida said of Spurs' "beautiful game," which focused on finding great shots and not just good ones. Procida met one of the stars of the last championship team, the Spurs, at the NBA draft combine in Chicago last week, but their conversation focused more on the present than the past. "It was great to meet him," Procida, who turns 19 on June 1, said of his conversation with Manu Ginobili during an interview with Spurs. We talked about my contract (at Fortitudo Bologna).” With so much focus on the Spurs' ninth overall pick in the NBA draft on June 23, their highest since Tim Duncan was picked first overall in 1997, we could some forget that the team also has two non-lottery picks in the first round (No. 20 and 25 overall) and a second round pick (No. 38 overall). In Chicago, Spurs general manager Brian Wright and his staff, including Ginobili, who is in his first year as the team's special adviser on basketball operations, have invested significant time interviewing and studying prospects outside of the consensus lottery. Forward MarJon Beauchamp (G League Ignite) also confirmed he did an interview with Spurs. (Florida State), also interviewed with the Spurs, The Athletic reported. Beauchamp, Baldwin and Butler plan to go into the late first-round to second-round range. Other players forecasted by the Spurs as late first-round picks include former Kentucky keeper TyTy Washington Jr., former Ohio State forward E. The 6-foot-6 Beauchamp played at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle, also the alma mater of Spurs All-Star point guard Dejounte Murray and Murray's mentor, former NBA sixth-man Jamal Crawford. "They give me advice on how to lead my team," Beauchamp said of Murray and Crawford in an interview with SeattleMet.com. Beauchamp had a brief stint at Yakima Valley College before joining the G League's Ignite. On the negative side of the ledger, he shot a disappointing 24.2 percent from 3-point range. Baldwin went to college as a top-five recruit playing under his father Pat Baldwin Sr. for the Horizon League Panthers, but he was limited to 11 games last season due to injuries, averaging 12.1 points and 5 .8 rebounds per game. Of the three, Butler is the most intriguing perspective. The 7-foot-tall, 174-pound South Carolina native entered his name in the NBA draft on April 27 while maintaining his college eligibility and must retire through June 1 to retain them. In his one season in Tallahassee, Butler averaged 5.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Projected as a large size, he impressed last season as a handball player, 39 percent shooter from the 3-point line and versatile defender. While the Spurs would likely have to wait for Butler's development, that wouldn't be the case for the resilient Liddell, who is 21 and emerging from a career-best junior campaign in which he averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and scored 2.6 blocks per game. Liddell's 6-7, 243-pound stock soared in Chicago after his wingspan measured nearly 7 feet and he recorded the best standing vertical jump at 35.5 inches. Its maximum vertical jump of 38 inches ranked eighth among prospects testing on the combine. Liddell, who made the Big Ten's all-defensive team last year, said the NBA players he most admires are Grant Williams, Draymond Green, P. "Just the heart that puts all these guys on the defensive bring,” said Liddell. The 6-7, 192-pound Procida also opened eyes in Chicago with a smooth punch and impressive athleticism. In Italy, he's shot 40 percent from beyond the arc for the past two seasons. He signed a three-year deal with Fortitudo Bologna last summer but reportedly has an option to opt out. "I have to pack a lot of pounds on my body, a lot of muscles," said Procida. Procida tested the preliminary draft process last year but decided to return to Italy for another season.

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