With the ninth selection in the 2022 NBA Draft, Tottenham chose Baylor Jeremy Suchan. By doing so, they have taken a huge step toward restoring a reputation as a defense-oriented program that has eluded them since their split from Kawhi Leonard.
For those unfamiliar with the 6’9″ striker, he was arguably the best defensive prospect in the entire class. His numbers on that finish were fantastic, but what really sets him apart from his performance is his strength and versatility. Despite having a typical forward size of strength, The 19-year-old was able to stay with the guards on the ocean at the keys and fight with bigger opponents. He’s the kind of player that sets the tone at this end with his energy level and compensates for others’ weaknesses. While he’s not likely to raise the kind of counting stats that damage The eyes are on the NBA level, yet Suchan can make an impact from day one and has the potential to be a true captain of elite defense one day.
Compatibility with the current kernel is not entirely smooth, but it is solid positionally as well as in personality. Sochan, the son of a Polish mother and an American father, grew up in Europe but played college football in the United States, which means he was exposed to different types of development styles. He appears to have the right mix of confidence and commitment to victory that the franchise has always championed and possesses the current core. He’s also a top striker who should eventually move well alongside Keldon Johnson and could thrive in San Antonio’s heavy switch scheme. Fans who were afraid to hear Adam Silver calling another goalkeeper’s name when Spurs were named selection should be happy about the selection.
The only reason you’re a little hesitant about Socchan’s immediate effect is because of his offense. While he has shown flashes of potential in this regard, he is simply not a leading scorer at this point. He shot less than 30 percent off the arc in college and has a slow, low release that he’ll probably have to reshape to become an outside threat in the NBA. If paired with a center with a scope or playing the center itself in smaller formations, it won’t kill spacing completely, but in units featuring Jakob Poeltl, opponents should be able to pack paint without paying for it. If Sutchan was a good self-creator, the lack of a consistent jump shot wouldn’t have been much of an issue, but he was mostly a complementing scorer in college. It is an ongoing work to this end.
The good news is that he is incredibly young and hardworking by all accounts, so the shortcomings he has now can go away with time while his strength landed him early on. His powerful passes and clever bits should allow him to be productive in attack as his shot develops while his defense gets minutes, likely in the second unit next to Zach Collins. For a franchise trying to balance rivalry now with the addition of chops that could allow it to actually compete in the future, a player like Sochan — who fits a need and has a positive side — could be a godsend.
The bottom half of the lottery can be a tricky place to pick, since the odds with the tools to be traditional superstars are all gone, so it’s refreshing to see Spurs take on someone who could go unconventional. Susan has described himself as a mix between Draymond Green and Boris Diaw, and while it’s hard to see him reach the heights of any of these superstar players, he can realistically turn out to be a fine amalgamation of their skill sets.
There was a lot of speculation leading up to the draft about which path Spurs would take with their selection. Will they pick the best available player or try to fill in some glaring gaps in their roster. With Sushan, they might have done both, so it’s hard to be excited about the future.