In a recent article on CBS Sports.com, the San Antonio Spurs’ first round draft pick Cory Joseph is considered one of the biggest draft surprises, while Davis Bertans is seen as a second round steal.
The build-up to this year’s draft had a pretty wild feel to it. With the chance of a lockout ahead, teams appeared to be frantically positioning for a crazy night of trading and movement.
A lot went according to plan. Kyrie Irving went No. 1 overall to Cleveland. Derrick Williams was taken right after by Minnesota. Enes Kanter went to Utah third.
There were some surprises though. Some players that dropped a bit farther than expected or climbed up the ladder to get taken four or five spots ahead of expectation.
For instance, Josh Selby fell all the way down to 49 to Memphis, which is pretty remarkable. But the 49th overall pick is pretty unremarkable.
Here are five of the biggest draft night surprises by Royce Young.
Cory Joseph, PG, San Antonio Spurs at No. 29
Once the Spurs pushed the button on a trade to send George Hill to Indiana for Kawhi Leonard, you knew San Antonio was going to look to restock its depth. Just not many saw them targeting Joseph.
Joseph played one year at Texas and was a nice, highly-recruited defender, but didn’t really impress many. He was pegged as a middle second round guy, so when David Stern called his name with the 29th pick, some were a bit shocked. He has the same frame as George Hill and might be able to settle into that exact some role. Plus, with the Spurs, everything they do seems brilliant.
They’re sort of like a new Radiohead album in that way. They escape the critics even when something doesn’t quite add up because they’ve earned it with a glowing reputation.
Here’s a look at five second round steals in the 2011 NBA Draft by Ben Golliver.
Davis Bertans, SF, San Antonio Spurs at No. 42
Acquiring George Hill for picks was a nice win-now move for the Indiana Pacers, but the San Antonio Spurs did very well to get value in the package coming back.
Snagging Kawhi Leonard, the major slipper in the first round, was a great move.
Picking up Bertans, a Latvian forward with first round potential, was arguably even better. That Bertans fell to No. 42 and the Spurs, historically one of the smartest organizations in the NBA, seems almost unfair. An excellent shooter with great length and a bit of handle to boot, Bertans can develop at his own pace overseas, ready to inject talent when needed in the post-Duncan era.
While most basketball analyst think the Spurs reached for Joseph in the first round, his skill set are somewhat similar to former Spur George Hill.
Projected in mock drafts somewhere in the middle of the second round, the Spurs insist Joseph was in play from No. 25 to No. 35. Whether they made the right decision in choosing him remains to be seen.
Bertans on the other hand, looks like a great value at No. 42. He is considered as the best pure shooter in the draft and was expected to be taken late in the first round.