The Toronto Raptors will more than likely select one of the following 5 players in tonight’s draft. If you’ve been keeping up to date on all the latest draft news, this won’t be anything earth shattering. On the other hand, if you’re unprepared for tonight, here’s a little cheat sheet to bring you up to speed.
The Good: Son of an NBA coach, comes from a solid college program at Duke, proven scorer at the college level, oozes confidence, had nice things to say about Toronto, did I mention his dad is Doc Rivers?
The Bad: Lacks one elite level skill, comes across as cocky, failed to live up to expectations in his freshman season, questions about athletic ability, NBA nepotism, went to Duke, questions about his ability to be a starting 2 guard at the next level.
The Verdict: Stay away; Rivers might have good value later into the lottery, but at 8 he’s simply too high a risk for not nearly enough reward.
The Good: Exceptional scorer’s mentality with the ability to get to & finish at the bucket as well as hit the outside jumper, had impressive assist to turnover ratio, led his team in almost every offensive category, good size at the point guard position.
The Bad: Played in a less than completive conference, his team failed to even qualify for the tourney, was less than impressive against better competition, is still a relative unknown commodity as a junior, questions about his ability to lead a team.
The Verdict: If he’s still there, and there’s not someone who the Raptors have fallen in love with behind him, they have to take him.
The Good: No fear in driving to the hoop, very effective slasher with an improving shooting arsenal, jumps the gap well leading to high steals rate, spark plug off the bench, physically strong and takes contact well; John Hollinger thinks he might be Dwayne Wade.
The Bad: Not great size for a 2 guard, less than explosive athlete, was unable to crack the starting rotation at Syracuse for 2 straight years, cheats on defense, questions about true position, jump shot still unpolished.
The Verdict: If he turns out to be Dwayne Wade, this will look dumb, but pass, and pass quicly.
The Good: Rare physical tools, has the potential on height, weight and strength alone to be a dominant big man in the NBA; while still raw, has good rebounding, shot blocking, and inside scoring ability, was in the discussion for #1 overall pre-season.
The Bad: Underperformed in college, incredibly raw, massive bust potential, questions about his desire to play the game, can be passive on the floor, slight attitude problems.
The Verdict: Big bodies with this kind of potential don’t fall in the draft often; if he’s there at 8, take him, and figure out the particulars after.
The Good: Excellent shooter with unlimited range, freakish wingspan, has above average ball-handling ability for the position.
The Bad: Very wiry slender frame, avoids contact at all costs, can be overpowered on the defensive end, questions about his ability to lead a team/be a good teammate, and relies on his jump shot too heavily.
The Verdict: Unless the Raptors believe Lamb will usurp DeRozan within the year, pass.