2024 NBA Lottery Mock Draft: Blazers swing for upside, Spurs stockpile guards

The Portland Trail Blazers swing for upside in this 2024 NBA lottery mock draft.
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8. San Antonio Spurs (via Toronto) select Nikola Topic

After taking Reed Sheppard at pick No. 4, the Spurs double down on guards in this mock draft by going with Serbian point guard Nikola Topic at No. 8. Topic is a highly coveted prospect in the draft class. However, a medical examination unfortunately revealed that Topic has a partially torn ACL. He might have to miss the entire next season and could fall a bit in the draft as a result.

Because of Victor Wembanyama's superstar emergence, the Spurs have a greater sense of urgency to start contending than other teams in the lottery. However, Topic seems like the prototypical Spurs player in terms of his unselfish passing and basketball IQ. If the Spurs were high on Topic before the news about his injury, it would be surprising for them to decide to avoid him entirely in the draft.

While San Antonio should be accelerating their rebuild, it's also unrealistic to expect them to achieve anything significant next season. It's tempting to want to win now with a generational talent like Wembanyama. But, in the scheme of things, Topic missing his first season won't seem like a big deal, especially with their No. 4 pick coming into the equation. If he's the piece the Spurs believe fits best next to Wembanyama, and in this scenario, Sheppard, then San Antonio shouldn't be afraid to be patient with Topic's recovery from injury.