They entered Tuesday’s drawing in Chicago with overwhelming odds of sticking with the No. 9 overall pick. So it was no statistical shocker when the Spurs did exactly that.
There was hope the team could cash in a 20.2 percent chance of leapfrogging into the top 4. Pipe dreamers in the organization were counting on the 4.5 percent chance the pingpong balls would award them the No. 1 spot for the third time in franchise history.
It wasn’t to be.
Despite the cold shoulder from Lady Luck, the Spurs will still head into the June 23 draft with their highest slot since 1997, when they selected a Wake Forest senior named Tim Duncan with the top overall pick.
Thanks to deals made around the February trade deadline, the Spurs also own the No. 20 pick (from Toronto) and the No. 25 pick (from Boston).
Barring a trade of some sort, the Spurs are not expected to get a crack at the trio of prospects deemed the cream of this year’s crop — Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren, Auburn’s Jabari Smith and Duke’s Paolo Banchero.
Talented options should nevertheless abound as the franchise goes on the clock for the first top 10 pick in a quarter century.
Here is a way-too-early look at a few of the players who might still be available to the Spurs at No. 9:
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA – MARCH 20: Bennedict Mathurin #0 of the Arizona Wildcats reacts…