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Draft workout notes: Kostas Antetokounmpo headlines 1st official session

Without a pick, these are going to be an exercise in, uh, something.

The Toronto Raptors held their first pre-draft workout at BioSteel Centre on Wednesday. It overlapped with media availability for Dwane Casey and Masai Ujiri, so I don’t have much for you from it beyond a quick snapshot of the players who came in, including one fun name. As a reminder, the Raptors have no picks, so the names throughout this process might be a little underwhelming compared to the last few seasons and focused instead on 905/Summer League/future plans.

Player Notes

Here’s the full list of players who attended the workout:

Kostas Antetokounmpo Forward 6-10 Dayton
Joe Chealey Guard 6-4 Charleston
Alan Herndon Forward 6-9 Wyoming
Giddy Potts Guard 6-2 Middle Tennessee

Kostas Antetokounmpo
ESPN Rank: 77

Yes, he is the brother of summer of 2021 Raptors free agent acquisition Giannis Antetkounmpo. No, he didn’t put up particularly strong numbers as a redshirt freshman at Dayton, nor is he currently projected to be drafted. Still, the 2o-year-old has a lot of the tools the Raptors look for even with a different surname. Namely, he’s 6-foot-10 forward with a 7-foot-2 wingspan and plenty of room for upside given his relative inexperience. – he helped lead his high school team in Wisconsin to a state championship after coming to the United States when Giannis was drafted, but he sat out his first college season. He only averaged 15.1 minutes with the Flyers this season, scoring 5.2 points with 1.1 blocks per-game.

He’s still incredibly raw and doesn’t even hit 200 pounds on the scale. Jonathan Givony of ESPN noted that Antetokounmpo is “testing the waters” in the process, though he’s said he intends to go pro and was among 69 players invited to the draft combine. It’s possible if teams give him feedback to that effect that he returns to Dayton again. Failing that, it seems possible a team would use a second-round pick on him and send him overseas or even try to develop him in their G League program. The Raptors don’t have a pick, but getting an intriguing prospect into their Raptors 905 pipeline would certainly be interesting if they can buy into the second round.

Joe Chealey
ESPN Rank: Unranked

The 22-year-old senior profiles as at least an interesting G League piece given his ability to shoot the ball. He averaged 17.8 and 18 points in his last two seasons with Charleston, shooting 36.9 percent on threes over those two seasons. He’s a serviceable playmaker with upwards of three assists per-game in three consecutive seasons, though he doesn’t profile as a typical lead guard. He made the All-CAA First Team in each of his last two seasons, leading Charleston to the NCAA Tournament in 2018, where they nearly pulled off the upset against Auburn.

Alan Herndon
ESPN Rank: Unranked

A 6-foot-9 power forward, Herndon had two solid seasons to end his time at Wyoming, putting up 11.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, and two assists as a senior. He also blocked 2.2 shots per-game, and for a while his career appeared to be trending toward the rare rim-protecting, floor-spacing combo. Herndon’s 3-point shooting took a dip this year, though, as he hit just 33.6 percent on over four threes per-game a year after hitting 37.9 percent. If the Raptors believe his true-talent level is something closer to the high-30s mark, it’s possible he becomes a Vegas/905 consideration, and he’s physical enough to have given Antetokounmpo solid foil in the workout.

Giddy Potts
ESPN Rank: Unranked

That name, though. Potts can really shoot the ball and has range beyond the college arc, making it a fairly projectable skill. He knocked down over 40 percent of a high volume of threes as a senior at Middle Tennessee this year and shot 41.7 percent over a four-year career that provided a 686-shot sample. There’s almost no doubt he can shoot it at the next level, and he shows some flashes of being able to add a little more with his ability to create for himself and strong rebounding numbers for a 6-foot-2 guard. He didn’t look the part of point guard, mind you, and didn’t really get to the line, so he might be in a weird position and role limbo until he develops further. The 22-year-old will probably look to show he can be a real point guard through these workouts and Summer League, and his shooting will help him get a foot in the door.

Assorted

  • This was the first official draft workout, but that doesn’t mean the Raptors haven’t worked out other players already. There’s no requirement that the team publicize every meeting or workout, and an interesting name in Jalen McDaniels quietly met with the team more than a week ago. McDaniels has also worked out with the Cavaliers, and while he wasn’t on the draft radar enough to earn a combine invite, apparently, some draft experts seemed surprised he wasn’t invited.
    • (Hat tip to Kelsea for pointing out McDaniels’ presence in the city.)
  • As a reminder, the draft takes place on June 21. We’ve got a long way to go.
  • The Raptors don’t have their next draft workouts schedule yet, but they might be fairly sparse or random until closer to the draft. The NBA Draft Combine is scheduled for May 17 and 18.
  • I’ll be posting some things on my Instagram story throughout the process, if you want to follow along there, too.

*A NOTE ON THIS PROCESS: Normally, this is one of the most fun times of the year, and this process note includes information on what we will and won’t post in terms of rumors and meetings and visits. To be honest, with no draft pick this time around, the process is going to lack some punch. We’ll still pass along the names that come in and work out, because they could pop up if the team acquires a pick later or is filling out the Summer League or Raptors 905 roster or whatever. It’s tough, without a pick, to get agents to bring high-end prospects in, though. There’s simply no upside for the prospect, and so the Raptors will probably have to do their diligence at agency camps/workouts and through their regular scouting process. The Raptors would like to get into the draft if they can, so these aren’t meaningless, they just might lack big names.

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