BROOKLYN – The last time the San Antonio Spurs owned a top-10 draft pick was 1997, when they used the first overall pick to select Hall of Famer Tim Duncan.
Twenty-five years and five NBA Championships later, San Antonio is looking to rebuild the franchise into a championship contender by adding to a young, guard-dominant core through the 2022 NBA Draft. The Spurs have missed the playoffs in each of the past three seasons and have bowed out of the last two play-in tournaments in the opening game, so there’s plenty of room for improvement on the roster.
San Antonio enters this year’s draft with four draft picks, marking the team’s largest pool of possible selections since 1988. They open the draft with picks No. 9, No. 20 and No. 25 in the first round. They also hold pick No. 38 in the second round. The ninth overall selection will be the fifth-highest selection the Spurs have ever made in an NBA Draft, behind only Duncan (No. 1, ‘97), David Robinson (No. 1, ‘87), Sean Elliott (No. 3, ‘89) and Alvin Robertson (No. 7, ‘84).
Pick No. 9 – Jeremy Sochan, Baylor Forward
With the ninth pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, the Spurs select Jeremy Sochan, a 19-year old freshman forward out of Baylor. Sochan stands 6′9, weighs 230 pounds and averaged 9.2 points and 6.4 rebounds per game off the bench in his only season with the Bears. He is considered one of the best defenders in his draft class with a seven-foot wingspan, was named Big XII Sixth Man of the Year and was also selected to the 2021-22 Big XII All-Freshman Team.
Sochan is a Polish-American born in Oklahoma. At just two years old, he moved to the United Kingdom. As he learned the game of basketball, Sochan played all over Europe, including a stint on the Polish National Team. He is the second Baylor freshman ever drafted.
“My heart was racing so fast,” Sochan said. “I’m so happy, and it’s just such a blessing. I have no words.”