Mar 21, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Louisiana Lafayette Ragin Cajuns guard Elfrid Payton (2) drives against Creighton Bluejays guard Grant Gibbs (10) in the first half of a men

More potential Raptor draft picks, based on readers’ suggestions


Mar 20, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward T.J. Warren (24) shoots against Saint Louis Billikens forward Dwayne Evans (21) during the second half of a men

 

I’m happy to review those players I call the People’s Choice winners. I’m referring to draft-eligible players Rapture Nation sent in as better choices than mine. The Toronto Raptors have pick #20, and so far haven’t traded it.

Let’s go through them in no particular order:

Elfrid Payton - A 6’3″ point guard out of Louisiana-Lafayette (a college I’d never even heard of), Elfrid rang up big numbers against less than sterling competition. When he played against top drawer squads like Louisville and Arkansas, he coughed up 14 turnovers in those two games. Of course, lower-level colleges provide bad teammates. Would his turnover count go down if he were passing to DeMar and Terrence?

He can score the ball, but only from inside the arc. He was very poor shooting 3-balls from the college arc, which is closer to the hoop than that of the pro’s. A 59% success rate from the free-throw line doesn’t fill me with glee either. By all accounts, and from what little I’ve seen, he’s a solid defender.

Elfrid is the epitome of a high risk/high reward draft pick. All potential draftees go through individual workouts and interviews with various teams. Given how many red flags there are fluttering around this fellow, he’ll have to absolutely nail his private sessions with the Raptors. Unless he does, I deem him more likely to go very late in the first round than be selected by our brains trust. If he’s still around at #37, let’s take a chance.

 Glenn Robinson III - Given my propensity to look to fill a need, I have to ask about whether we should even consider another swingman. If we did, I suppose Glenn is worth a look. He’s 6’7″, 211 lbs, and out of Michigan. His father went #1 overall in 1994, and was a two-time NBA All-Star, so young Glenn certainly can’t complain about his share of the gene pool.

Scouts are concerned about why Glenn didn’t make significant strides from his freshman to his sophomore season. He will need to explain that away, probably by suggesting he was asked (?) to take a supporting role behind Nik Stauskas and Caris LeVert. I certainly worry about players who don’t improve, and wonder whether he would have been better advised to spend another year in college.

He doesn’t appear to have any skill he can truly hang his hat on, and I won’t be surprised if he falls to the second round.

T.J. Warren – Another swingman, out of North Carolina State, but one who possesses an uncanny scoring touch. He might be someone who’s better in the pros than college. Warren is awkward, which I usually don’t like, but there’s another funky-looking guy in the NBA who’s done all right, by name Paul Pierce. I don’t have a feel for his defense, but Dwane Casey likes scorers. Don’t be surprised if his name is called.

Khem Birch - I have to mention a Canadian who might be around very late in the draft. I don’t know if this fellow will ever step on an NBA floor. He’s not played much, he’s a tweener (undersized power forward, lacks skills for swingman), he’s really raw at both ends of the floor. Let’s hope he gets a chance with someone, maybe with our #59 pick.

Rapture Nation, there’s still time befor the draft. Send me more interesting players, and I’ll have a look.

Tags: 2014 NBA Draft Toronto Raptors

  • Matteemo

    Presuming that Nik Stauskas, Tyler Ennis, Rodney Hood and James Young have all been selected by the time we pick, I would like to see the Raptors choose Kyle Anderson, TJ Warren or KJ McDaniels at 20. I also think there are lots of interesting options in the 2nd rd, lots of players slotted to go late first rd who could slip as well as players like Patric Young, Thanassis Antetokoumnpo, Dwight Powell, Khem Birch, Jordan Bachynski etc etc

    • Newmarket_Brian

      Hi Matteemo:

      I’m with you on Warren and McDaniels, but not so much on Anderson. I’m always worried about the ability of college people to adapt to the speed of the NBA, and when the player is already slow-footed, I’m not convinced he can find the extra step he’ll need. That problem will be worse on defense.
      I like your second-rounders.
      Thanks for commenting.

      • Matteemo

        His foot speed is a legitimate concern. He’s crafty though and uses his body very well to allow him to get his shots off, much in the same mold as a Brandon Roy or Paul Pierce (don’t read that wrong, I don’t expect him to be the same calibre of player that those two are/were). At 20th, I’m not really expecting a starting calibre player, thinking more of someone who will be a niche filling role player long term. I think Anderson’s bball IQ, incredible shooting, decision making and ability to handle the ball in a point forward type of role are all attributes that will see him fit in nicely on a second unit as a floor general, facilitator and spot up scorer. His advanced metrics for PER and Win Shares in college were impeccable. It’s very rare to find a player with his combination of skill set and size. He’s certainly not without his question marks, but no one available at 20th is.

        • Newmarket_Brian

          Hi:
          Your last sentence sums up the situation with admirable brevity.
          The last one of these I got right was DeRozan. I think there will be a lot of surprises on draft night.
          We’re not finished our analysis yet, so please check in again in a few days. While I haven’t got my invitation to the draft night party yet, I’m expecting it.
          Regards,
          Brian