It was a good night for the Ohio State basketball program. Last night saw two Buckeyes get drafted in the same draft for the first time since 2007. While they ended up not getting two first-rounders like they were expecting, it still helped future recruiting.
The first of the Ohio State basketball players taken was Malaki Branham. He slid a little bit further than I thought he would, falling to 20th overall. He ended up being taken by the San Antonio Spurs, known for having one of the best cultures in the entire NBA.
San Antonio has a long tradition of winning under Gregg Popovich. Even though they haven’t been great in recent years, they had. a great draft night. Branham is one of those great prospects they ended up taking and he will fit right in with the rest of this roster.
Branham’s style of play is good for what San Antonio wants to do. The Spurs like to move the ball and keep people moving. Branham isn’t a ball-dominant guard and can score off the catch. He can run off screens and hoist threes or get into the midrange and rise and fire.
What will determine Branham’s ceiling is how he improves his defense. He has long, rangy arms that project him to be a good defender. He wasn’t bad while he was at Ohio State on that end of the floor, but he has the chance to be a really good defender if he works at it.
Branham is a perfect fit in San Antonio. He won’t be rushed by an organization that doesn’t know what it’s doing and he also has a shot to compete for playing time right away. Branham won’t start immediately but definitely has a chance to in the future.
This is a home run for both Branham and the Spurs organization.