The Raptors brought seven guys in to workout. Interviews here.

Name Position Height College
Kendall Marshall Guard 6-4 North Carolina
Devoe Joseph Guard 6-4 Oregon
Terrence Ross Forward 6-7 Washington
Hollis Thompson Forward 6-8 Georgetown
Henry Sims Centre 6-11 Georgetown
Kyle O’Quinn Centre 6-10 Norfolk State

The whole thing lasted one hour and ten minutes, and here’s a recap of each guy according to Ed Stefanksi, who is way more enjoyable to listen to than this guy. Kelly basically repeated the same words verbatim and always looked like he was a little pissed about missing the early bird special at Dennys, whereas Stefanksi actually listens to the question, thinks, and answers in what appears to be an honest manner.

  • Ross – Great athlete who needs to work on shooting and range.
  • Marshall – High basketball IQ and sees the floor very well. His wrist looked good even if winced when pressure was put on it. Stefanski gave his agent positive feedback, as it was his first workout since January.
  • Joseph – Shot the ball extremely well, but the question is whether he can play point guard or not.
  • Quinn – Displayed solid rebounding technique.
  • Sims – See Quinn
  • Thompson – Good shooter, Stefanksi projects him to go early-mid second round
  • Lillard – Played one on none, and didn’t work out with anyone else which is rare. DeRozan was the last guy to do that. The Raptors have seen him numerous times live and watched a lot of his film. They had a dinner with him and this was all about assessing his personality – conversation was key. Stefanski admitted that “we didn’t learn a lot” but the guys today “tested out well as people” which was a priority more than anything. Here’s a @raptors tweet stating his impressions of Toronto.

Bullet points:

  • Stefanksi feels that point guards are a premium in this draft and that power forward is the deepest position.
  • The Raptors wanted to match players against each other but agents prohibit lot of guys from doing that in fear that stock will fall.
  • Overall, they’re “very happy” with the workouts. The workouts is just extra info gathered on players, the major “body of work” in terms of scouting was done during the NCAA season

Of all the guys interviewed today it looked as if the Raptors were most interested in Lillard, who interviews very well and seems to know a lot about the Raptors (well, he knew Jose’s contract status). Here’s a brief thing on him from Draft Express:

Lillard possesses very appealing physical tools for an NBA point guard prospect, standing at 6’2” with an excellent frame and wingspan, to go along with very good athleticism. He combines those physical gifts with a confident, attacking mentality and a well-rounded skill set, playing as a scoring point guard, capable of carrying a large load offensively at the college level. While he was already an intriguing prospect going into this season, he’s made some clear improvements in his game that he’s been able to display thus far as a junior.

Much of Lillard’s improved efficiency can be traced to his hot shooting, connecting on an outstanding 45% from 3-point range despite increasing his attempts (he shot under 40% in previous seasons). As we noted before, he does have a bit of a low release point, but he has no trouble getting his shot off, whether it’s off the catch or off the dribble, where he’s able to fluidly pull-up from well behind the 3-point line, or utilize a very effective step-back dribble to create space to get his shot off. About two thirds of his shot attempts this season have been jumpers, and his percentages off the catch and off the dribble are almost the same, illustrating his versatility as a shooter.

Lillard has also done a better job of taking care of the basketball thus far, cutting his turnover rate almost in half from previous seasons. This is quite an impressive feat, considering his heavy usage and how much his team depends on him to create offensively. To illustrate that, he actually ranks #1 amongst all NCAA point guard prospects in terms of turnovers per possession, coughing the ball up on just 10% of his possessions.

The large emphasis of the pick-and-roll game in today’s NBA bodes well for Lillard, as he’s shown to be very effective as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations. His ability to smoothly pull up off the dribble from deep range makes it difficult for his defenders to go underneath the screen, while his burst off the dribble allows him to turn the corner quickly and get into the paint.

Lillard does a good job of playing at different speeds and is capable of driving in either direction, which keeps defenders on their heels and helps him get to the free throw line at a very strong rate. Once there, he knocks down an excellent 90% of his attempts.

The testing of Jerryd Bayless as future Raptors point guard is over, if it even ever was seriously considered. Lillard, though, is a “scoring point guard” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing and shouldn’t be viewed as Bayless 2.0 (who was Jarrett Jack 2.0, BTW). The spectrum of scoring point guards we’ve seen ranges from Russell Westbrook to T.J Ford, so the view that the Raptors should be looking for a “pure” point guard and stop experimenting with SGs in PG bodies isn’t correct. In the modern NBA your PG better be able to score and pass, and Lillard’s passing (especially off the dribble) has been good. At the smallish Weber State he was called on to be a scorer so his assist numbers will not blow you away, but by all accounts he’s always displayed a keen passing ability predicated on instinct.

Any time you draft a player these days you have to account for development time in the NBA, which wasn’t the case as much even a decade ago when players generally stuck around school longer. When you’re drafting a point guard, that development time has been known to increase even more, but at least in Lillard’s case it’s helped by him staying in college for three years. When watching guys like DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis, it’s painfully evident how much an extra year or two of college would’ve helped them out, so Lillard has a leg up in that sense. He’s also in the same age group as our supposed “core”: Jonas 20, Lillard 21, DeRozan 22, and Davis 23. Dynasty right there…I joke, of course.

We should all be wary of a point guard coming in to run the show and the associated growing pains, but hey, we’re not going anywhere fast so let’s take our time. Don’t get me wrong, watching those rare playoff games at the ACC is a lot of fun, but we’ve already been waiting too long and can wait more. That’s the thing with expectations: when you have none you’re never disappointed. Thanks, Bryan.

Draft Party on June 28th, exclamation marks added to convey excitement!!!!

  • WJF

    “The large emphasis of the pick-and-roll game in today’s NBA bodes well for Lillard, as he’s shown to be very effective as the ball-handler in pick-and-roll situations. His ability to smoothly pull up off the dribble from deep range makes it difficult for his defenders to go underneath the screen, while his burst off the dribble allows him to turn the corner quickly and get into the paint.”
    This is what gives me hope that Lillard can run an NBA team, he is a threat and that will open up the passing lanes.

  • Nilanka15

    The more I see/hear about Lillard, the more I love his fit in Toronto.

    Elsewhere in a dark corner, a single tear rolls down Bayless’ cheek…

    • voy

      as long as we dont go waiters with the 8th pick.

      • steve

        Why?  I haven’t seen much of any of them, but for a combo guard I like Waiters and Wroten a bit better.

        • Gerr

          no man, waiters is so overrated. i dont understand how a guy coming off the bench is being projected to go so high in the draft. He’s got serious attitude and off court issues as well and i’ve heard hes locker room cancer. 

          • Phat AlberG

            Because he is a gunner

          • TheDowJones

            I don’t like Waiters fit for the Raps either, but the guy does have game. The only reason he came off the bench was because he’s a scoring PG/SG and provided the teams offense off the bench. Kinda like James Harden for OKC

            • Destro

              I believe Waiters is going to bust at the NBA level….IM not convinced in his game in anyway.
              Too slow and chubby for me and the one thing ppl keep overlooking is why IF he so good now was he not even starting for his own team in college ??? Which by all accounts had no stars or real top pro prospects on it…..

              Think about that one…

    • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

      I believe you never saw his shooting technique. In Nba his shot will be blocked easily if not adjusted. He has a low release point and looks very flat arc.My 2 cents

      • Nilanka15

        I think his shot will be fine.  If guys like Marion can get by in the NBA (who shots from his chin), Lillard won’t have any issue….especially with his ability to create space for himself.

        • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

          I hope for Portland. Austin Rivers will be a better player in Nba. He is 2 years younger than DLillard, incredible first step, will shake everyone, polished shooting

          • Destro

            Rivers is going to be a bench player in the NBA…

            Mark that down right now…

  • Skank

    This evaluation sounds just like the draft evaluation of Bayless four years ago…except Bayless was even more highly touted

    • Brain Colangelo

      But bayless had issues with shot selection and tunnel vision and, most imprtantly, has not substantialy and may never improve. The bay less comparison does not diminish lilard.

      • Brain Colangelo

        Is Lillard a better version of Bayless or a more athletic version of steph curry?

  • dalmatino

    Marshal went under the radar and I like it. Less talk about him is good. I prefer Marshall over the Lillard because he is far better point guard than Lillard and scoring regard, it can be learned, modified, upraded, … so players have their whole carrier to improve shooting and scoring, but being a good or above average passer, that you cannot improve a lot. You are either a born passer or not.

  • Rus

    I’d be ok with drafting lillard as long as hole at SF was also addressed somehow…..

  • OldSchoolCool

    Lillard is Bayless 2.0….

    And Bayless as a starter has very good assist numbers, too bad he was never given a chance so we dont waste a draft pick on exactly the same player in Lillard. Smh colangelo

    Draft Rivers into a sixth mam role. Its a need for any team looking to win a championship and Rivers has all the tools to be a very good one…

    • Nilanka15

      One could argue that Rivers is also a “Bayless 2.0”, the only difference being that Rivers doesn’t consider himself a PG.

  • WJF

    It is easy to compare Bayless and Lillard, but I feel that Lillard has more true PG skills and brings a better lead guard skill set to the table. 

    • WJF

      Just for the record, I am not a big Lillard fan, nor am I a Bayless hater. 

  • guest

    There is no way Lillard will come in and be better than Bayless at this time.  If they draft an unknown clone of Bayless they are idiots or they are not truly trying to make a run towards the playoffs.  I think Lillard is a smoke screen.

  • mobchester

    am hearing the bulls offer deng  and their 29th pick for calderon and the 8thpick colangelo do this in a heartbeat

    • Nilanka15

      I wouldn’t make this trade.  Deng is a solid player, but not someone who can create his own shot.  This would be change for the sake of change, IMO.  I’d much rather keep the 8th pick.

      • voy

        exact-a-mundo. deng is not a good fit for the raps at this stage in their development, especially considering the 8th is going the other way. 

    • WJF

      A big NO!

  • weedman

    So … I don’t know if I was the only one who started to sit up a bit watching Jerryd Bayless near the end of the season … which I otherwise hardly even remember for some reason. But … watching him play what I thought was a better brand, an obviously better brand of b-ball, again, near the unremembered end of the season … which I’m not sure if I remember or dreamed but … I started thinking about him being only 23 years old … and how he’s fast-as-fuck when he’s, you know, not out of control rolling his ankle or some other stupid shit and … when his shot is going in he’s a nasty mofo, so … maybe (I started to wonder about … and then partly believe) he’s going to be one of those guys who really starts to understand how he fits into the NBA game while he’s around his mid-20s (which is still a year or two away) and how he can REALLY impact a game as a potentially-monster sixth man … you know? Or … … have I been smoking too much weed? 

    • Lorenzo

      That’s why they call you weedman, cause you smoke too much weed, man

    • Brain Colangelo

      You could be right. Not a reason to draft or to not draft lillard, though.

    • Nilanka15

      The concern is that Bayless has been horrible coming off the bench.

      • guest

        The issue is not coming off the bench for him it is consistency in minutes. This is true for most players and that is why when I read this I know most people on here have never played.  It is about rhythm, as well as not looking over your shoulder.  If Bayless had a defined role coming off the bench playing about 20-25 minutes a game, you would see the same player that you see starting.

        • Nilanka15

          Did I say anything that wasn’t true?

          How do you earn consistent minutes other than by playing well when given the opportunity?

          Yeah, rhythm is important, but to dismiss poor play because he wasn’t given “consistent” minutes is fallacious.  There’s a reason why Bayless wasn’t given minutes earlier.  It’s because he’s not that good.

          You’re not going to apply the “rhythm” defense to Alabi, are you?

          • guest

            You did not say anything that was fact. It obviously doesn’t seem to be a concern for the coach when he says he sees him as a Jason Terry or Harden type. I think he knows a hell of a lot more than you. Like I said when he was given the minutes he played well.  You have no idea why or why not he was given minutes that is just your supposition; what is fact is that when he gets the minutes he plays well.  Sometimes players are given minutes because they are being showcased, sometimes because the team drafted them and they want to prove that they did not make a mistake.  Sometimes players are not given minutes because they ended up on the wrong team at the wrong time. Example: Jeremy Lin.  
            Also, I would apply the concept of rhythm to not just Alabi,  not just basketball but every job or situation.  The longer you do it the more minutes you get, the closer you get to mastery.  Read Malcom Gladwell expand your mind or give me a legitimate reason why you think he just can’t play if he does not start?

            • guest

              Without researching it I am pretty sure that there is probably a pretty strong positive correlation between minutes played and a players FG% and probably A/TO.  Part of that rhythm thing …..getting use to where your teammates want the ball.

            • Nilanka15

              It’s really quite simple.  He hasn’t played well when he hasn’t started.  “Could” he play well when given consistent minutes?  Yeah, it’s possible.

              But will he?  I’m going with the odds, and the only available evidence we have (i.e. documented statistics), and say, no. 

              BTW, just because Casey said it, doesn’t make it scripture.  By all accounts, Casey is the reason why Anthony Carter was brought in…and I don’t think I need to finish that story.  Besides, what’s Casey supposed to do when asked about Bayless?  Isn’t it a smart coaching move to give a young player something to work towards?

              Regardless, there’s a good chance that Colangelo doesn’t even sign Bayless this summer (“I think he knows a hell of a lot more than you”).

              • guest

                The only simple thing seems to be you. You make this huge extrapolation that he does not play well when coming off the bench without accounting for any other variables.  Then you take what Casey said and interpret it for your own argument as what he really meant.  Lastly, you magically know what Coangelo is thinking.  

                My point remains the same, you can not state as fact that Bayless does not play well coming off the bench without, especially when he plays well starting without giving some consideration to the fact that it has to do with inconsistent playing time.  If you want make your point valid, you would research if there was a difference in how he played when he came of the bench and got 20-25 minutes or if he sucked when he started and got 10 minutes.  Otherwise it is just your opinion and you need to stop arguing with me about mine.

                • Nilanka15

                  Huge extrapolation?  You mean like the extrapolation you made when you assumed I’ve never played ball before?

                  It’s acceptable for you to critique my opinion, but as soon as I counter, “I need to stop”?  Yeah, that makes sense [rolling eyes].  I should also point out that it was YOU who first responded to MY post, no the other way around.  If you don’t like discussing opinions, here’s a crazy idea:  DON’T REPLY.

                  So you’re saying that your interpretation of Casey’s thoughts are more valid than mine?  That doesn’t make any sense either (unless of course you ARE Dwayne Casey).

                  If you want to include unseen variables in your analysis of players, why stop at minutes played?  Why not include a player’s diet, or how much he can bench press, or what his IQ scores are?  Technically, these can all contribute to a player’s performance….right???

                  “Don’t blame Bayless for his poor numbers.  It’s because he didn’t eat a balanced breakfast”.  Give me a break, dude.

                  Enough with the Bayless excuses already.  His career to date speaks for itself.

                • Brain Colangelo

                  Now you’re just being silly, Nilanka.  Diet, breakfast?

                • Nilanka15

                  Of course I was being silly…but was doing so to illustrate a point: 

                  There is a PLETHORA of variables to consider when evaluating a player’s worth, but at the end of the day, the ONLY concrete, irrefutable evidence we have, is his on-court performance.

                • Brain Colangelo

                  Yes, but Bayless is better when given more minutes.  You know nothing about his diet.

                • Nilanka15

                  Correction: Bayless played better as a starter.  We have no idea if his ego will accept a bench role (even with 25 mpg).

                  And I made no claim to know about his diet, nor do I care.  I mentioned it above in jest.

                • Brain Colangelo

                  Not a legitimate correction.  He also played better with more minutes.  You are simply wrong.

                • Brain Colangelo

                  Nilanka – Not a legitimate correction. He also played better with more minutes. You are simply wrong.

                • Nilanka15

                  Don’t confuse your opinion with written-in-stone-facts.

                • Brain Colangelo

                  Nilanka – pls provide evidence that refutes JB playing better with more minutes. 

                  As these are facts set in stone it should be easy for you.

                • Nilanka15

                  You’re the one claiming I’m “wrong”.  The onus is on you to prove that I am wrong.  Besides, I’m making the distinction between heavy minutes as a starter (which I admit Bayless played well in), and heavy minutes as a backup.

                • Brain Colangelo

                  I love it when people randomly assign the burden of proof on a draft board. 

                  You’ve made a distinction b/w heavy minutes as a starter and heavy minutes generally.  I’m saying he’s played well in his heavy minutes, which came primarily as a starter.  Honestly, what is there to prove other than your distinction. 
                  If we’re talking about diet how about your appetite for endless, futile debate?

                • Theswirsky

                  didn’t YOU anssign the burden of proof to?

                • guest

                  Everything he says tends to be silly.

                • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

                  I got news about JBayless from an insider who was working there. He is seen as a bit of a dickhead thinking about money all the time. Doesn’t like to be told about training weekly. My friend told me before DCasey arrive JB was gone for sure.

                • guest

                  After reading the last few comments, I stick with my “extrapolation” about your limited basketball experience. 

                • Nilanka15

                  When the going gets tough, resort to personal insults.  Atta boy!

                • guest

                  There is no tough going with someone who is illogical and just makes things up to ignore facts.  I realized it was a waste of time. Not a insult, just a possible explanation for the things you say.

                • Nilanka15

                  There is nothing factual about your theory that Bayless ”might” play better with consistent minutes.

    • mountio

      There is no question that Bayless has that potential. One out of every four or five games you watch him and say .. holy shit .. this guy is pretty good. The other 4 or 5, you want to throw your TV out the window or throw your beer on him if you are at the game.
      Hes got to be the highest beta player in the league. So volatile, so unpredictable.
      Will he get it at some point? He might .. but the biggest issue with him (by far) is his decision making. Loves to jack up a long three with 22 on the shot clock. If he hasnt figure out this is a bad shot yet .. I dont know when the light will magically go on …

      • weedman

        *holding bong out to offer a morning hit* 

      • LTDupside

         The light is burnt out.

  • WJF

    The thing with Bayless is that while with the Raptors he has always had Jose waiting to take him back out of the starting line up. So the fans always had something to look forward to when Bayless starts jacking shots. If Jose were moved and Bayless was the full time starter (not my choice) maybe we would start to see him differently, embracing the 25 and 8 games he has and not dwelling on his 12 and 4 games shooting 4/14. 

    If Jose was not scoring, he usually still had an impact on the game with low turnovers and high assists, we just need to see what Bayless does when he is not hot from the floor to make the team better…..or we just ship his ass out. 

  • raptors

    jeremy lamb cancelled the workout after rolling his ankle working out for the raps today and didnt speak to media. what a wuss! austin rivers rolled his too and finished the workout  + spoke to the media. lamb is a dud and has no heart!

  • AB7.38pt.on.CB4

    Raptors have chosen their pick:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJX8YUrItR8

    • sleepz

      I have been saying right after the draft that I think Rivers is a distinct possiblilty for the Raps at #8.

      High pedigree, and Colangelo is looking for an alpha male to take the shots considering the players they have on the roster currently. The question will be how good can he become without the elite athleticism or NBA body? He’s not a stiff by any means but his measurements and athleticism don’t scream ‘star’.  

      • Nilanka15

        Then again, they said the same about Steph Curry.

        • CJT

          and his frail non NBA body seems to indicate that they were on the right track. 

        • sleepz

          Indeed they did. The only thing I would say about that comparison is Rivers doesn’t have the stroke Curry does but he definitely has comparable handles.

          The other thing to consider is Steph plays the 1. Rivers no matter how much we would like him to be is not a 1.

          • CJT

            I was very impressed with his handles.  Great cross over.  His shot is actually pretty ugly, shooting from the wrong side of his head like ed davis, but his goes in.  He certainly has that swagger that we are missing.

    • raptors

      please not rivers. I like the kid, and I like that he said he loved toronto in the interview, sounded like he wanted to be here, and kept up with the raptors. but honestly it all comes down to skill, I see many weaknesses and holes in his game to be an effective player for us. I think there are better options at #8

      • Nilanka15

        I agree completely.  People are jumping all over the Rivers bandwagon because he gave props to Toronto, while ignoring the many holes in his game (i.e. inefficient shooting, poor court vision, lack of size/strength, “tweener” status, etc).

        His confidence in interviews is great, but it means nothing if he doesn’t fit as a player.

        • CJT

          this is an actual question, not trying to be sarchastic etc.  Was Durant seen as super athletic coming out of school?  He is very slight and weak and no one talks about that because he is awesome, but what was the chatter on his physique coming out of school?

          • mountio

            The chatter on Durant was that he was freakish altheticly with all of his length (obviously combined with his considerable skill). There were questions about his slender nature, yes .. similar to the types of questions asked about KG, Bosh, etc. But, considering he doesnt spend a lot of time in the post .. most thought his slender nature not that big a deal.
            So – i dont think you can tout Durant as an example of a guy not thought of as overly athletic .. because he was very athletic. Not Lebron Mack Truck athletic .. but very athletic none the less

            • CJT

              Thanks.  You don’t see him in the post much do you.  I think it is odd that people question DD’s strength with regards to finishing with contact but not Durants.  I suppose Durant just has better coordination and longer limbs etc.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TRPH647AXY5T5XHXI2AFSG3XHA OvertheWall

    No RIVERS!  This guy definitely has tunnel vision, and I do not believe he will change that.  He thinks he is Lebron, but he doesn’t have the body!  So, if Bryan drafts Rivers, Raptors is dead to me.
    I used to like Lamb as well, but he just looks too small as well.  So no Lamb for me either. 
    Lillard may be a good pick at 8, if available.