5 players Spurs fans should watch in the NCAA Tournament

The San Antonio Spurs could own two lottery picks, depending on where the Toronto Raptors land in the standings, making March Madness a must-watch for their fans.

Rob Dillingham, Kentucky Wildcats
Rob Dillingham, Kentucky Wildcats / Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA
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If the season ended today, the San Antonio Spurs would have 14 percent odds to land the No. 1 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft — tied with fellow bottom-dwellers Detroit and Washington. The Spurs can also receive another lottery pick from the Toronto Raptors, who sent a top-six protected pick to San Antonio as part of the Jakob Poeltl trade (oops). The Raptors are currently situated right in the sixth spot, so all it would take is one team leapfrogging Toronto to really set the Spurs up nicely.

This is an important draft for the Spurs. Their competitive timeline is accelerated with Victor Wembanyama taking off into the stratosphere. The Spurs shouldn't plan to lose a ton of games next season. That could mean a major trade is on the horizon — perhaps the kind of blockbuster that renders this entire article moot — or, it could mean that San Antonio focuses on fit. That is especially logical in a weak draft class, in which very little is guaranteed up top.

What do we know San Antonio needs? A point guard. Tre Jones has been quietly excellent this season, but he projects most comfortably as a long-term sixth man who can stabilize the offense and limit mistakes. He is not the high-wattage creator the Spurs would ideally pair with Wemby.

Of course, there are other needs. The Spurs need shooting on the wing and better defenders across the board. Wembanyama is tasked with cleaning up a ton of messes these days. The Spurs could even target another frontcourt player to offset Wemby's limited physicality in the paint — perhaps another rim protector to completely unleash Wemby as a roamer.

Here are the prospects to watch in this month's NCAA Tournament, which could go a long way toward establishing which prospects are viewed as viable options for San Antonio at the top.

5. Colorado's Cody Williams is the connective wing the Spurs lack

If the Spurs are inclined to pursue upside without completely sacrificing immediate utility, Cody Williams is a solid bet. The 19-year-old has been extremely productive and efficient for Colorado despite the rawness of his skill set. Williams checks a lot of boxes on the wing, with excellent physical tools (6-foot-9, 7-foot-2 wingspan), an efficient 3-point stroke, and legitimate passing chops.

The Buffs have allowed Williams to work out of pick-and-rolls and set up the offense on occasion. He's extremely limited as a ball-handler, but Williams processes the game well and scores effectively on straight-line drives. He operates with physicality around the rim despite his thin frame and he hits enough spot-up 3s with touch to warrant optimism in his jumper.

San Antonio should probably look to boost their playmaking apparatus more substantially, but that is a need that can be addressed via trade or free agency. Williams can plug into virtually any personnel group, supplying versatile defense and useful connective tissue. If he tightens his handle and becomes more dynamic on the ball, Williams' ceiling can compete with any prospect on the board.

Devin Vassell, Jeremy Sochan, and Keldon Johnson are a solid collection of wings, but Williams offers arguably the most balanced skill set on paper. He's going to spread the wealth, offer Wemby a passing target on cuts, and defend all over the floor.