2022 NBA Draft grades: San Antonio Spurs select Jeremy Sochan with No. 9 overall pick

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The San Antonio Spurs have selected Baylor forward Jeremy Sochan as the #9 pick in the 2022 NBA draft. Spurs have long excelled at turning great defenders into all-around threats. They did it with Kawhi Leonard. They did it with Bruce Bowen. Now they’re trying Sochan, who is one of the best defenders in this class. An athletic 6-9, Sochan can defend just about anyone and should fit right in with the Switch-heavy league that the NBA has grown into.

The former Baylor star appears to be the prototypical Spurs draft pick as he can be a crud on defense with the potential to grow on offense, which is why our NBA draft experts at CBS Sports Give the selection a grade of 1-.

Sochan is the rare high school recruit under 100 to become a top 20 pick. His ability to defend multiple positions and potential as a marksman are among the reasons he’s an enticing prospect and one of the most versatile players in this draft. The fact that Spurs take him says a lot; it might not be what I would have done, but that may just mean I’m wrong. Grade: A-

He’s not a great scorer yet, but he’s got the ball and plays well in transition. His shot is the big red flag here, but remember the Spurs have one of the NBA’s top shooting coaches in Chip Engelland. If there’s one team that can maximize Sochan, it’s San Antonio.

The Spurs picked Tim Duncan in the lottery in 1997 … and spent the next 23 years in the postseason. But all good things must come to an end, and Spurs drew in their third straight lottery on Thursday. So far, neither of her previous two picks have broken out. Devin Vassell has shown lightning, but Josh Primo always wanted to be a project.

Luckily, the Spurs managed to develop an All-Star in DeJounte Murray at No. 29 overall. They do. Leonard was 15th. Tony Parker was selected 28th. Manu Ginobili stayed on until No. 57. Spurs can spot talent anywhere in the draft and now that they’re picking near the top, the opportunity to do so is greater than ever. If that or any other Spurs selection is half as successful as Leonard, Parker or Ginobili, it is considered a success.

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