Former Kentucky guard Tyler Ulis is going to be selected in the 2016 NBA Draft on Thursday, so the only question is where?
One option, according to a report from CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein, is the San Antonio Spurs, who own the No. 29 overall pick in the draft. The Spurs have conducted “extensive research” on Ulis, according to the report.
In the latest edition of ESPN NBA draft analyst Chad Ford’s mock draft, Ulis is not a first-round pick. A reported hip injury could have damaged Ulis’ draft stock, but the 5-foot-9 guard disputed the report last week following a workout with the Detroit Pistons.
“I have no idea,” Ulis told MLive.com about the report. “I’ve never had hip pain. My hips are fine, I just worked out two times in a row but I honestly don’t know what it was. My hips are fine.”
San Antonio would be a desirable location for Ulis to land. He would join a stable organization that has won 50 or more games in 18 of the last 19 seasons, only failing to reach that mark in the lockout-shortened 1998-99 season in which the Spurs won the first of their five NBA titles.
Perhaps more enticing, Ulis would have an opportunity to learn under the tutelage of 15-year NBA veteran point guard Tony Parker. A six-time All-Star, Parker is the team’s all-time leader in assists and helped San Antonio capture four of its five titles.
There is no current heir apparent to Parker, who is on the backend of his career, and Ulis could potentially step into that role if he develops well. Of course, this is all premature, as Ulis could be off the board by the time the Spurs pick at No. 29 or the team could ultimately decide to pass on the Chicago native.
However, if Ulis does end up in San Antonio, he likely won’t complain.