The Spurs have several needs they may look to address in Thursday night’s NBA Draft. One need is for a younger backup point guard that can be a long-term replacement for Jacque Vaughn.
At number 26, one player that may be available is Kansas guard Mario Chalmers. Sound familiar? He’s the player whose late three-pointer propelled the Jayhawks into overtime for an eventual NCAA Championship win over Memphis.
At 6-1 190 lbs., he’s the perfect size to play point guard in the NBA. Only problem is he hasn’t shown that he can be a pure point guard and if the Spurs are looking for someone to set up the offense and distribute the ball, they may be inclined to pass on Chalmers.
He’s average at best when it comes to ball handling and while his turnovers have decreased quite a bit, he also shared ball handling duties with two other Kansas guards.
On the upside, Chalmers has shown constant improvement every year at Kansas and remains very intriguing because of his high shooting percentages and defense. He shot 51 percent from the field and 46 percent on three-pointers. He’s an outstanding one-on-one defender, anticipates passes and fills passing lanes.
His defense and shooting would bring a nice balance to Tony Parker’s game, but Chalmers will have to prove he can be a bacjup point full-time and improve his mid-range game. If he’s still around and several other prospects have been picked ahead of 26, the Spurs should draft him. But if other players like Courtney Lee and Chris Douglas-Roberts are also on the board, you’ve got to address that area way before backup point guard and Lee and Douglas-Roberts may make a more immediate impact.
Update: Chalmers has had some very good workouts and has been predicted to go as high as 16 or drop to 27.