SG South Carolina Sindarious Thornwell 6’5” 215 6’10” wingspan
Player Comparison: Wesley Matthews
Why here: The Spurs need defensive players off their bench. Their downfall in the playoffs will come at the helm of three of their five starters being genuinely poor defenders. If not for Pop and a strong defensive scheme, the Spurs would be lost on D. With father time getting friendlier with Ginobili and Tony Parker in addition to Patty Mills getting paid bank to go elsewhere, their backcourt will be growing thin. Dejounte Murray looks like he will be a steal at this pick last draft- developing a complete game under the best development staff in the league. Thornwell will give the Spurs a unique player with the ability to defend at a high level while maintaining the threat of creating offense for himself and others. Dejounte and Sindarious is the coolest sounding backcourt in the NBA in 2021.
Strengths: Very strong… High IQ in regards to using weight off dribble and in traffic… bodies other guards on drive… ferocious rebounder (7.1 rpg including six double doubles, one of which was a magnificent 44pt and 21reb night). Is a very efficient player-PER of 30.6 while notching averages of 47%/39%/83%. Doesn’t force shots… creates space with dribble and use of body… dependable three point threat… has creative mid range game… depends on strength as ISO scorer… draws fouls intelligently, often getting and-ones. Dependable in clutch… has poise with double teams… makes big FTs… gets teammates and crowd into games… shows great leadership qualities.
Hard-nosed defender… lots of strips… doesn’t get bodied by bigger opponents.
Weaknesses: Senior (22.6 y/o). Despite appearing to be athletic, he is relatively slow, doesn’t explode much off dribble, can’t bounce out of the gym, and has a first step that isn’t too remarkable. Off hand dribbling and finishing at rim with both hands could use improvement. A lot of his dominant scoring was dependent on his strength in comparison to his competition, a gap that would be cinched at the next level.
Does weird stuff with his feet when he shoots. Doesn’t shoot frequently off the dribble, and seems to ineffective when he does. Shooting repertoire doesn’t include many moves… weak with step backs, fadeaways, spin jumpers etc.
Isn’t strong passer, plays best off ball. His ball handling is ok in short instances, but overall he doesn’t have an expansive enough dribbling arsenal. Turns the ball over when trying to dribble through traffic… picks up dribble and makes bad passes out of double teams.
Outlook: Despite Thornwell’s second round projected value, the Spurs will snag a gem here. Sindarious has NBA ready mindset and play, can contribute in correct role immediately. Has groundwork to be one of highest IQ players in draft, especially with the Spurs.
Random Prediction: 2x All NBA Defensive Second Team (2024-25). Falls asleep and gets drawn on team bus, resulting in lots of comical social media posts.