Sports

Jun 26, 2014 11:13 PM by Associated Press

Spurs Pick UCLA's Anderson in NBA Draft

SAN ANTONIO (AP) - The San Antonio Spurs selected small forward Kyle Anderson of UCLA with its first-round pick Thursday, the 30th selection of the NBA Draft.

Anderson, who left the Bruins after his sophomore season, averaged 14.6 points, 8.8 rebounds and 6.5 assists. The 6-foot-9 forward is considered one of the draft's top passing big men, which is optimal for the Spurs.

His place with San Antonio could be impacted by the free-agency plans of Boris Diaw, the 6-9 forward whose passing helped sparked the Spurs' five-game victory over the Miami Heat in the NBA Finals.

Diaw, along with Patty Mills and Matt Bonner, is an unrestricted free agent and Aron Baynes is a restricted free agent. Most, if not all, are expected to return as San Antonio attempts to win its sixth NBA championship.

San Antonio also had the 58th and 60th selections in the second round late Thursday.

With Tim Duncan exercising his $10.4 million player option to return for his 19th season rather than retire, the Spurs do not have an immediate need. Depth was one of the team's biggest strengths last season, with its bench averaging a league best 45.1 points per game during the regular season and 41 points in the playoffs.

The bench could play an even larger role next season.

In addition to continuing to limit the minutes of veterans Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, the team's depth could ease the early stress for several Spurs who are playing for their respective national teams this summer.

Ginobili will play for Argentina and Mills and Baynes for Australia and in the FIBA Basketball World Cup beginning Aug. 30 in Spain. NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard will attempt to make the U.S. team.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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