It started with Zion clips, Woj bombs, and a dizzying number of trades. It ended with Chauncey Billups pretending to know who second round picks were and the Toronto Raptors selecting Dewan Hernandez with the 59th pick in the NBA Draft.
So you could say that it started and ended with a bang. I suppose.
Hernandez is a 6’10” power forward out the University of Miami, yet he also has the versatility to be used as a small-ball centre. A key reason that Hernandez was such an unheard of prospect was due to the fact that he was deemed ineligible for the entirety of the 2018-19 season following a corruption scandal amongst the team.
However, during the 2017-18 campaign Hernandez was effective, averaging 11.4 points, 6.7 rebounds and 1.0 block across 25.8 minutes as a sophomore for the Hurricanes. Hernandez declared for the 2018 draft after that season, but later withdrew.
At face value, Hernandez fits the bill of a long-shot pick that the Raptors have a proclivity for selecting.
“He’s a pretty impressive athlete for his size and an impressive finisher. He’s useful because of how mobile and long he is in rim-runner type situations and running out in transition,” said Mike Gribanov, co-host of the Stepien NBA Draft podcast.
(Dewan changed his last name from Huell to Hernandez in 2018 to honour his mother.)
However, as with any late-round pick, there are definitive flaws to Hernandez’ game.
“He is a really poor defender… really lacks the awareness, focus, engagement, and recognition on that end,” said Gribanov.
Despite missing an entire season, Hernandez reinvigorated his draft stock with a strong showing in the NBA G-League Combine which resulted in an invite to the NBA Combine. When in Chicago, Hernandez turned the heads of several scouts with another impressive performance and measurements:
- Height: 6’10”
- Weight: 232.8 lbs
- Standing Reach: 8’11”
- Wingspan: 7’2″
- Hand Length: 9.5″
- Hand Width: 10.25″
- Body Fat Percentage: 6.10%
- Standing Vertical Leap: 30.5″
- Max Vertical Leap: 35.5″
(Stats courtesy of NBA.com)