This week on The Doctor is In with Phdsteve, we continue our draft coverage with an updated big board 2.0 for the draft pick 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 #20 pick overall now that we have seen most of the draft workouts.

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

Grab the iTunes feed or check us out on Stitcher on Android. There is also the plain old feed. You can also download the file (28:26, 27 MB). Or just listen below:


Cleanthony Early, F, Senior

Wichita State, 6”8”, 219 lbs

Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Michael Gennaro, @michaelgennaro

Cleanthony Early is an athlete. He is a 6’7” SF at the NBA level. What is impressive is his instincts to get to the rim and above it. With a PG who can throw the lob he loves to be above the rim. He gets loose in transition and will run the floor looking to attack the rim. Not afraid of contact and finishes strong through it. Plays tough D but needs to learn to box out his man. Has good size and uses it effectively even though his size/length is not above average – he was a shot blocker for the Shockers and willing to play D hard would make him an ideal fit in the Raps system – except that he is a tweener. His height gives him an advantage over smaller SF, and has shown a decent post arsenal this past season. He crashes the glass on defense and offense and will lead the fast break end to end – although only with his right hand. Needs to become a better ball handler. Also improved his 3 pt shoot to 37% last season while shooting 47% from the floor.

Although I never gave much credit to the Wichita State Shockers in the tournament, there was no denying their talent, even with the sub-par competition they played against all year.

In the NCAA 3rd game against Kentucky Wildcats, the team that ended up losing to Uconn in the finals, he played 39 minutes out of 40, shot 12-17 for 31 pts, including 4-6 from 3, a perfect 3-3 from the strip, had 7 rebounds and a block and steal. Against elite competition, Early showed that he can ball. They only lost that game against Kentucky by 2, and Early was the go to man down the stretch scoring 10 of their final 13 points.


K.J. McDaniels, F, Junior

Clemson, 6”6”, 200 lbs
Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Greg Mason, @votaryofhoops

I would still absolutely love to see the Raptors grab Adreian Payne but I’m VERY skeptical that he’ll still be around when the Raps make their selection. Thus, KJ McDaniels is my guy for the Raps. I’ve broken down my logic in greater depth in the pod but plain and simple the guy plays defense. What he lacks in size (6’6”, 200 lbs) he makes up for in length (6’11.5 wingspan) and tenacity. As the reigning ACC player of the year, the 6’6” small forward pulled down 7.1 rebounds and blocked an impressive 2.8 shots per game. The shooting is suspect but the defensive instincts are there. He doesn’t need the ball to thrive. Consummate glue guy.


Adreian Payne, F, Senior

Michigan State, 6”10”, 245 lbs
Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Blair Miller, @TFQuarter

I explain this in greater depth in the podcast, but consider this my “best talent available” counter to my earlier “address biggest needs” selection of Mitch McGary.  I spent a lot of time last week explaining how Doug McDermott would give Toronto a useful stretch weapon in small ball lineups, and that’s how I see Michigan State’s Adreian Payne maximizing his potential in the NBA (obviously to a potentially lesser extent than McDermott…at least in terms of draft status).  As a senior in college, Payne shot 42.3% on 3.4 three-point attempts per game, which is pretty solid for a “power forward”.  Take that with his 6’ 10” height and in time he could be a dangerous pick-and-pop threat who arguably has the most post experience of any of the stretch four players available in this year’s draft.

I said “in time” with regards to Payne’s potential as a pick-and-pop player because I think his shot form needs to be rebuilt.  If you watch his highlights, you’ll see he has a tendency to “load” the ball  – meaning he swings the ball around and down, below his waist, before beginning his upward release.  The ball needs to get up to eye level or higher in one motion upon putting both hands on the ball.  Think of an NFL quarterback prospect: You can have different sorts of throwing motions as long as they’re repeatable and accurate, but if you have a hitch in your throwing motion you run the risk of giving the defense that extra crucial split second to close in.  In the present-day NBA, where streamlined defenses start to close out before the ball swings the shooter’s way, taking just that little bit of extra time to get your shot off can be a death knell.  Payne wouldn’t be the first player to successfully remodel his shot in the pros, though, and you know he’s open to coaching because you have to be to play for Spartans coach Tom Izzo.

Lastly, there’s Payne’s most obvious asset: That crazy wingspan.  He’s the anti-Kevin Willis, with arms as long as Derek Fisher’s new coaching contract is overpaid.  This season the value of a player who can occupy a lot of lateral space with his limbs has been front and center on both sides of the floor, with Kevin Durant on offense and Kawhi Leonard on defense.  I’m not saying that Payne will be able to contribute as much as Durant or Leonard do for their teams, but teams are starting to covet freakishly long arms because they are able to scheme in ways that accentuate them more than ever.  I say more about this in the podcast, and how outsized arm length is a hugely valuable asset.  You can teach the rest; you can’t teach wingspan.  That’s why if Ujiri & Co. go the route of taking the best talent available at 20 they opt for Payne.  There are some blemishes in his skill set, but hey – that’s what you get in the last stretch of the first round.


Kyle Anderson, G-F, Sophomore

UCLA, 6”9”, 230 lbs
Draft Express :: ESPN

Pick by Steve Gennaro, @therealphdsteve

If the biggest need of the Raptors is a long 2 guard, with PG ball handling skills, and the ability to stroke a three then at #20 the best the Raptors can hope for would be to see a player like Kyle Anderson waiting for his name to be called. Anderson was the starting PG on his UCLA team for both his freshman and sophomore seasons, and even when highly ranked PG prospects like Zach Levine arrived at Westwood they were relegated to spot duty while Anderson garnered 30+ minutes a game.  In some ways it is reminiscent of Russell Westbrook and Jrue Holiday’s careers at UCLA where both were backups even as elite level prospects while Darren Collison ran the point forever! Now most draft boards project Anderson at the SF in the NBA because his speed and lateral quickness issues but Anderson’s 6-9 height, 7-2 wingspan, and high basketball IQ allowed him to use smart positioning to averaged 2 steals, 1 block & 9 rebounds a game last season at UCLA.  Not bad for a PG! All of those stat categories translate well from college to the NBA and shifting from the PG to SG should help deal with some of the speed issues on defence.   Offensively, Anderson is a top notch ball handler, passer, and shooter. In his sophomore season at UCLA he shot close to 50% from both the floor and behind the arc, while playing 30 + minutes, taking a significant number of offensive touches and still averaging 6.5 assists a game. And while he projects to play the 2 or 3 at the NBA level he can also spell in when needed at the PG since that’s his natural position and his 6’9 230 pound frame means he could even play the PF every now and then if necessary.  He is the same size as Julius Randle!  In today’s NBA you can never have too many guys who can play at 2 or more positions (4 in Andersons case) to come off your bench! At 20, he’s a steal.

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

Share this:

14 Responses to “The Dr Is In Podcast, June 13 – The Real 2.0 Big Board”

  1. DanH

    Early plays zero D at all, so no thanks on that one. Oh, and Anderson is closer to playing zero positions at the NBA level than 4. He can’t defend any position, but the only one he has a chance at is the 3. He is way too slow to play the guard positions, and way too weak to play at the 4. He makes Steve Novak seem like Shaq in terms of strength.

    Payne is intriguing but I’d be shocked if he dropped to us. McDaniels should be there, and he’s my pick as well assuming neither Ennis nor Payton drop to us. If they want to go for a big Capela or Porzingis should be there and both are intriguing prospects.

      • rapierraptor

        My guess is no. He disappointed at the Nike Hoops Summit but the Ibaka comps are just too alluring for somebody like Phoenix, who has multiple 1st rounders, not to take a chance.

        • ckh26

          I don’t think the Suns will want to babysit 3 first round picks. Look for them to be listening at 18 or 27. We have some future assets to trade and perhaps we will if the Raps board has a 1 and a 1A one it. Two of Capella/Early/Anderson/McDaniels/Payton/Ennis would be great. Just have to determine if the cost is worth it.

    • OakTree

      “He makes Steve Novak seem like Shaq in terms of

      Now that’s just flat out not true. How does a guy with no strength get 8.8 rebounds per game? That’s more than McDaniels, who by all accounts is an excellent rebounder.

      Kyle Anderson is 6’9″ 230lbs, and is just scratching the surface of what his frame is capable of athletically. He’s still lanky, in part due to his long arms, but he’s got a big base that should fill out really well with NBA level conditioning. Just look at the width of his legs, hips and shoulders and it should be obvious he won’t get pushed around by many SFs after some productive off seasons.

      I really like Kyle Anderson as the Raptors pick. I think the fit is great, and the potential is higher than anyone else available late in the first round. His anticipation of the play on both ends of the court is as good or better than anyone else in his draft class, and combine that with his length and you’ve got a rare talent with outstanding upside.

      Out of all the guys listed, Kyle Anderson is the only one I can see becoming more than a role player.

    • raptors phdsteve

      While I appreciate the comments, I disagree with your view of Anderson as it sounds (and this may not be the case but it sounds) much more inline with what a bunch of people on internet blogs and websites have written about him than what scouts actually have to say about him. Ive seen him play in person and Ive watched every minute of his college career. I also spoken to several scouts about him. All say the same thing: yes, he lacks lateral speed and quickness, but his basketball IQ is off the charts and his length and positioning allow him to play much better D than your post or the many blogs and mock drafts of recycled un-researched opinions suggest. Is he elite- no but that is why hes being talked about in the #20 range. Anyone you pick here has blemishes and is a risky pick. If he was an elite athlete, as a 6’9 PG, he would be not only the #1 overall pick, he would be…well…Lebron.

    • hotshot

      I would be worried of picking just a defensive player who has trouble scoring.

      No one wants another Antoine Wright.

    • help me i'm on welfare

      You are crazy, Early plays great and is an unselfish offensive player who take over when needed. Just wait and see!

  2. connorbradley

    I would take a look at Jerami Grant: . He has the length and size at the Small Forward position that can defend players like Joe Johnson. I say this because he reminds me so much of Kawhi Leonard when he was coming into the draft: . The wingspan, height are so similar with a 10 pound difference. Obviously Grant doesn’t have the offensive skills at the NBA level yet, but if he has the intangibles like work ethic and focus, I believe he could rise to the potential that Leonard is at today. Maybe I’m going crazy because of how great Leonard is playing in the Finals right now, but I think it’s worth considering.

    • Ben

      Jerami Grant played power forward for his college career, and his style of play is that of a power forward. His lack of size is the only thing that indicates he will play at the small forward position. He doesn’t have any offensive skill outside the paint, and his touch around the rim is suspect. He has taken all of about 7 jumpshots from midrange and out, whereas Kawhi took over two 3 point shots per game before being drafted. His ability to stay in front of a defender on the perimeter is also an issue, and the only reason most people don’t talk about that is because his liability was hidden for the most part by the Orange’s use of zone defence. A closer comparison to him would be Tyrus Thomas, as Kawhi had a much larger array of physical and basketball talent when he entered Spurs training camp.

      • connorbradley

        Thanks Ben,
        Agree with you for the ball handling and shooting side of things. He has A LOT of work to do, but the dude does have some potential. Interesting how Syracuse players have to prove their defence in workouts because of that zone they play all year. IM NOT saying we should draft the guy, I just wanted to toss him into the conversation.
        Love that the raps have 3 picks to work with this year, should be a fun draft to watch.

    • rapierraptor

      I was initially intrigued by Jerami Grant for the same reasons as you but then I read this quote from analytics guru Kevin Pelton and it scared the bejeezus out of me:

      “Grant isn’t ready for the NBA, according to the numbers. There’s
      basically no track record for success among players like Grant who are
      6-foot-8 and under, do not shoot 3-pointers and are so inaccurate on
      2-pointers (50.6 percent last season).
      The closest comparison is Travis Leslie, a second-round pick who has played 45 career minutes in the NBA.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *