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.