The Dr Is In: Big Board 2.0

This week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve, we continue our draft coverage with an updated big board 2.0.

Joined by my brother Mike (who knows college basketball), Greg Mason (the brain from the south), and Blair Miller from The Fifth Quarter Blog we explore what the Raptors might do with the #9 pick overall.  If the proposed Bill Simmons rumour of DeRozan to Charlotte for Gerald Henderson and the #9 pick were to come true, what should the Raptors do?

Give the pod a listen and check out the accompanying write-ups of our choices below.

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Don’t forget to visit Blair’s site The Fifth Quarter Blog and his new weekly podcasts. Follow him on Twitter @TFQuarter

You can follow Greg on Twitter @votaryofhoops and my brother Mike @michaelgennaro and check out their work on the NBA drafts top prospects with at ESPN True Hoop Affiliate Bucksketball.com

gordon

Aaron Gordon, F, Freshman

Kentucky, 6”9”, 225 lbs
Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Greg Mason, @votaryofhoops

I have serious doubts about the Raptors’ ability to move into the top-10 of this year’s draft. I am not on board with the idea of moving Derozan. There are significant holes in his game (3-pt shooting, defense, ball handling) but he’s a guy that puts the ball in the basket, gets to the foul line, hits big free throws down the stretch and improves every season. Most importantly, this is absolutely the wrong time for the Raptors to deal one of their leaders. The city is excited about Raptors basketball and the franchise is freshly off a record season. Thus any push into the top-10 needs to happen by way of a package including T Ross, the #20 pick and expiring contracts. The guy in the 5-10 whom I would target is Aaron Gordon. I absolutely love the guy’s feet. He’s got great lateral quickness, an explosive, sky-high vertical and a lightening quick second jump. He projects as an elite wing defender and a guy who will serve as the quintessential stat-stuffing complimentary piece. He isn’t a great shooter in general but he’s especially atrocious at the foul line (42%!). Pairing him next to Demar would make the presence of a stretch-4 almost imperative. In this uber-hyped draft you’ll have to cough up a heavy package in order to secure a guy like Gordon. What’s more, Danny Ainge is reportedly man-crushing hard on Gordon right now so I’m not sure that anything other than Demar or Jonas would move the needle. Nevertheless, Gordon is that do a little bit of everything Shawn Marion/Kahwi Leonard type that can take your team to the next level. If Masai can somehow work his magic, I’ll be a happy camper!

dario

Dario Saric, F, International

Cibona Zagreb, 6”10”, 223 lbs

Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Michael Gennaro, @michaelgennaro

MVP of the Adriatic league at 20 years old. Has played professional ball since he was 16. Led his team to the championship and the league in scoring with over 15 ppg. At 6’10” he has the ability to play at both the 3 and the 4. He has great dribbling skills, and can stretch the floor as he improved his 3-pt % to over 33% this past season. His 6’11” wingspan and his lack of leaping ability does not make him a defensive threat – he is sort of a tweener on defense – not fast enough for 3’s and not strong enough for 4’s, but he does have a strong motor and plays with intensity and hustle to make up for it.

He likes to run the floor on the fast break and is not afraid to dribble end to end or pass to the open man. He can attack the rim with both hands, has a good crossover, and can play the high or the low post. He crashes the boards on both ends and averaged 3+ offensive rebounds last season. Not the most athletic but uses his hustle and strong basketball IQ to overcome this.

dougie

Doug McDermott, F, Senior

Creighton, 6”8”, 225 lbs
Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Blair Miller, @TFQuarter

In our podcast I’ve voiced my apprehensiveness to trading DeRozan for the ninth pick and a guy who likely wouldn’t be a starter for the Raptors (Gerald Henderson).  Still, I was hopeful for a trade to move up in the first round in The Dr. Is In Podcast just a few weeks ago, so I don’t mind hypothesizing about whom to take at No. 9 overall in the draft – especially because it didn’t take me more than a few seconds to settle on Doug McDermott from Creighton.

It’s hard to believe that the reigning National Player of the Year in Division 1 NCAA – who finished fifth all-time in career scoring with 3,150 points – could fall to the bottom of the top 10, but that’s where most experts seem to have him going at the moment, if not lower.  We’re talking about a three-time Conference Player of the Year, twice a consensus All-American, who put up these numbers in his senior season while everyone knew he was going to get the ball: 26.7 PTS, 52.6% FG, 44.9% 3PT, 7.0 REB, 1.6 AST, 1.8 T/O.  His low assists number isn’t a concern to me, because he’s a coach’s son who sees the floor well, understands the flow of the game and was asked to hoist up a lot of shots by his own father, Greg, who runs the Creighton program.  In fact, McDermott was second in the nation in field goal attempts, which makes his efficiency of 1.22 points per possession last season mind-boggling.

But as so often is the case with many top college players who don’t get projected as high-end lottery picks in the NBA, there is concern about McDermott’s first step and/or ability to create his own offense in the pros, not to mention the defensive deficiencies that tend to come along with such a weakness.  I don’t think it matters as much as skeptics might argue.  For one, coach’s sons also tend to buy into playing tougher defense than one would assume, given their physical attributes.  Also, McDermott’s 36.5” vertical at the combine could indicate a bit more explosiveness than some of his slower times in the agility-oriented drills do.  What’s more, does Toronto really need another guy to slash to the lane, even without DeRozan?  In this week’s podcast, I spend some time comparing the role he could play for the Raptors to ones played by guys on other teams, past and present.  (And I realize my analyses of the Raptors’ potential offseason moves have been a total whitewash, so I added a black player for comparison too!)  I’ll leave that for your listening pleasure, but to summarize: There is a place in the NBA – and Toronto – for a talented three-point shooter with size, but who is too big to guard shooting guards, and not big enough to match up with most power forwards.  In recent playoff series we’ve seen players who fit that bill help their teams win, most specifically in small ball lineups by spacing the floor and getting some key rebounds in height mismatches.  I think McDermott compares well to those guys, and that’s a type of player the Raptors truly need to fill a hole in their roster, especially if Patrick Patterson gets lost in the offseason shuffle.

Oh – McDermott’s got some swag, too.  He opted not to participate in the shooting drills at the combine, but still told Comcast SportsNet that he’s the draft’s best shooter.  That attitude will fit in well up north.  And heck – at the end of the day, this is Toronto.  Why not draft a Creighton Bluejay?

randle

Julius Randle, F, Freshman

Kentucky, 6”9”, 234 lbs
Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Steve Gennaro, @therealphdsteve

I know it’s a long shot but I’m going with Julius Randle. In part because if I’m the rain maker for the Toronto Raptors I don’t trade of DeRozan to Charlotte for Henderson and the #9 pick if Randle is not on the board.  In my opinion, an equal talent can be drafted at #20, or even #27 for that matter in Glen Robinson III to anyone other than Randle that you might select with the #9 pick, so paying the premium of an NBA All Star in DeRozan does not make sense.  Editor’s note: I loooooove Glen Robinson III and he appears on mock draft boards as low at the end of the 1st round when I think his talent is comparable to anyone outside of the top 5 in this draft- see Big Board 1.0 for more on this

Despite the recent drop in draft stock, I still think Randle is at worst the fifth best prospect in this draft (Click here to read the scouting report on Randle written by Mike and Greg for True Hoop affiliate Bucsketball) and I have him ranked still in my top 3.  I think Randle has 20 point -10 rebound NBA potential in the right situation and I think pairing him next to Jonas for the next decade would be a treat to watch.  The problem of course is being lucky enough to watch him fall to the bottom of the top 10.  In just about every mock draft you see, Randle’s floor is either the #6 pick Boston or the #7 pick with LA- and if the draft holds true to form then yes, its hard to imagine Randle sliding to the Raptors imaginary #9 pick.

Except in every draft there are unpredictable moments.  Take last year’s draft for example when Bennet goes #1 to Cleveland and Noel falls to #6 behind even Alex Len! Every year players who should go early drop.  Only a few years back Ed Davis went from being the top prospect on the ESPN big board in September to the #14 pick of the Toronto Raptors on draft night.  Same for Harrison Barnes or Andre Drummond in 2012 who were both projected top five picks but fell to #7 and #9.  In 2011 it was Brandon Knight, Kemba Walker and Kawhi Leonard who’s stocked dropped for unknown reasons on draft night with Leonard falling to #15.  Heck, even Rajon Rondo who was project as a top 5 pick in 2006 had to wait to #21 to get his name called!  So, anything is possible.  Also, we know the Celtics, who own multiple picks (#s 6 and 17) will be active on draft night, perhaps trying to acquire Kevin Love or to move up into the top 3.  Same is true for the Lakers who are always looking to remain in the spot light and who last season were irrelevant for the first time in decades and would certainly consider moving their pick for immediate help.  And therefore since you can guarantee the Celtics or Lakers will keep the pick, you also cant rule out the possibility of Randle slipping through the cracks. Imagine how sweet that would be!  A perfect draft night indeed!  You would lose DeRozan but come back with Randle, Henderson, and Glen Robinson III (with the #20 pick).  It is fun to dream sometimes.

  • sleepz

    Have a feeling Randale is going to be a bust in the pros.

    A 6’9 PF who has no right hand, very few post moves that tries to bully his way to the rim on most possessions is going to have big troubles in the league.

    • TyRocket

      Agreed with Sleepz…look at Thomas Robinson who was drafted by Sac town before being shipped to the Blazers. Many people were really high on him before the draft and he did nothing. Got by in college by bullying his opponents, in the NBA that doesn’t always translate.

      I have a gut feeling that Tyler Ennis is going to slip to 20…standing pat is our best option.

  • HeatedEnd

    You lot need to calm down about the bill simmons comments in his podcast. He was clearly complementing Ujiri on his ninja GM skills and farcically suggesting that proposal.. Just a second or two later he jokingly suggests that somehow Ujiri knows that Henderson has some secret star quality that everyone will only later find out.

    In a similar vein, while I’m not exactly rushing to run DeMar out of town, but at this point we pretty much know what we are getting from him and I don’t see why the idea of moving him is such a bad idea (obviously I would either want a better player or something higher than the 9th pick).

    • rapierraptor

      Do you think Lowry is going to want to re-sign if we trade Demar? Serious question.

      • HeatedEnd

        If you get someone good enough, I don’t think he cares. He did say he wants to go to a contender. Also consider that last season the reset button was pressed and his friend Mr.Gay was shipped, then he was almost shipped…

        • ItsAboutFun

          “He did say he wants to go to a contender.”
          No. When, where? I believe you’re putting different words than what he said in his mouth.

          “Also consider that last season the reset button was pressed and his friend Mr.Gay was shipped”
          You mean when him and DD got as tight as lovers and lead their team to unexpected heights? Something he never came close to achieving before, with anybody as a sidekick, including with his buddy Gay?

          Not to worry anyway. MU is not an idiot: DeMar is going nowhere this summer, with or without KL, but KL will be back also.

          PS. “at this point we pretty much know what we are getting from him”. Where you one of the babbling mob that was saying essentially the same thing about DD last summer? Some never learn.

          • raptors phdsteve

            Yes, I did say last spring that I thought DD had capped out but clearly, I was wrong. But the part in the pod you are referring to was not my opinion but me explaining what Bill Simmons had said for why he thought trading DD now made sense. I’m pretty sure the whole point to my blab today was to argue NOT to trade DD.

            • asifyouknow

              Terms like CAPPED OUT and REACHED HIS CEILING are just fantasy game language, reality is that a player can be terrible in one team and becomes great on another, it happens all the time, so there is no way to tell what “the ceiling” of a player is, that is a bogus argument.
              The problem with DeMar is that he thinks he is MJ late in games, he makes terrible decisions in critical game situations.
              Good trade bait.

            • ItsAboutFun

              Everything in my post was quoting, and responding to, poster “HeatedEnd”

  • raptorspoo

    What if Lowry doesn’t re-sign?

    If we put it in that context, I think we seriously lean towards moving DD (for the right deal).
    I really like the Randle thing that you mentioned. Randle and JV would be like M.Gasol & Z.Bo 2.0.

    • sleepz

      Randale is no where near as good or will ever be as good as Z-Bo. Randolph can score anywhere on the blocks and has a nice mid range game. We saw that even when he was at Michigan St. Randale doesn’t have those type of skills at all.

  • raptorspoo

    What would it take to get Cleveland’s #1?

    Well, thinking from the Cavs standpoint, I wouldn’t do it for just two of JV, DD or Ross if it were a straight up deal (disregarding salaries). Meaning that you would have to include all three and then I might ‘think about it’. Realistically though, I don’t think there’s anything we can put together from what we have that would entice the Cavs to give up their number #1. If they had a toxic contract, like the G.Arenas one, then maybe… but they don’t so let’s not even think about it.

    • ac1011990

      If Raps went crazy and offered DD and JV with a future first that might be enough. I still think the Cavs are hoping that Lebron comes back home, so they want to make the most appealing situation for him. A team of DD, Lebron, Irving and JV manning the middle is pretty good and he wouldn’t have to do everything himself like he had to this year while wade sat out. That being said that deal won’t happen because we have nothing left on the team. Giving up that much for Wiggins is not a good idea, I want him on the team but not at that cost. The Cavs are probably better off drafting Wiggins to instead of hoping for Lebron to come back, in a few years the Cavs could be dangerous if they draft good and make some good moves.

      In my opinion Raps should just pick at the 20th and try to obtain another mid to late first rounder and that would be a great draft for me. DD is not someone I really want to give up on and chances of us getting a top 3 without dealing all of our talent is slim so no point.