#29: Corey Joseph
Senior NBA & College Basketball Editor
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Few teams in the league garner the kind of respect that the San Antonio Spurs do when it comes to the NBA Draft. They have a reputation for finding diamonds in the rough and recognizing talent at a level that other teams just don’t. So, when they make a pick it’s hard to argue with it.
However, they may have made the stretch of the first round when they selected Texas freshman point guard Corey Joseph 29th overall. Joseph’s decision to enter the draft after only one year in Austin was highly criticized and thought to be the wrong decision.
He was very inconsistent as a Longhorn, but managed to average 10 points and three assists a night. As a young player his best days are certainly ahead of him and it believes that the Spurs strongly believe in his potential.
Earlier in the night the Spurs shipped off combo guard George Hill to the Indiana Pacers in exchange for small forward Kawhi Leonard. Joseph could possibly take some of the vacant minutes left by his departure.
Joseph will have the luxury of being able to learn under one of the greatest head coaches in league history in Gregg Popovich. He’ll also have veteran guards Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, two of the best in the league at their position, to learn under.
The Spurs have not fully entered a rebuilding period yet, but in Joseph, second-year guard James Anderson, Leonard, power forward DeJuan Blair and center Tiago Splitter they have put together a solid young core. If they all develop at the typical Spurs’ rate, the Spurs could end up avoiding the major drop off that typically comes from losing a franchise player like Tim Duncan, who is likely to retire within the next couple of seasons.