The San Antonio Spurs did it again. The Spurs stole a player that should have gone much earlier in the draft, and the team will now punish the NBA for not selecting Kyle Anderson before pick number 30.
Tonight, in the 2014 NBA Draft, San Antonio selected Anderson out of UCLA with the last pick of the first round. In usual San Antonio fashion, the Spurs stole a solid prospect who possesses versatility, unselfishness and elite passing skills.
Earlier today, I wrote about Anderson’s fit with the Spurs. It was such a perfect fit that it almost made too much sense. In short, Anderson has the ability to play the point forward position. He can pass the ball in all different kinds of ways and some of the plays he makes look similar to San Antonio’s Boris Diaw. His shot improved tremendously from his freshman year to his sophomore year and San Antonio hopes that this improvement was not an aberration.
Anderson’s biggest flaw, which kept him from going much earlier in the draft, is his lack of quickness and explosiveness. Anderson seemingly plays in slow motion on offense and defense. He struggles to keep quicker players in front of him and he is not strong enough to defend power forwards in the post. He will find it difficult to get to the rim on a consistent basis early in his career, but he has shown the craftiness that could come in handy as he gains some speed.
As usual, Gregg Popovich and his coaching staff will find a place for Anderson’s unique array of skills. Popovich, who has done wonders with Diaw, is the perfect coach for Anderson. In the end, do not be surprised when Anderson becomes a formidable NBA player, once again making the rest of the league pay for letting someone drop all the way down to San Antonio.