Toronto Raptors: The full Eric Moreland scouting report

Toronto Raptors - Eric Moreland (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Toronto Raptors - Eric Moreland (Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

With Serge Ibaka missing three games due to a suspension, the Toronto Raptors signed Eric Moreland to a 10-day contract. What does he offer the team?

With Serge Ibaka suspended and the Toronto Raptors frighteningly low on big men, the team has decided to bring Eric Moreland in on a 10-day contract. Moreland provides Toronto another option down low while Ibaka is out, and if he plays well, has the opportunity to earn a rest-of-year contract.

The athletic 6’10” big man is familiar with the organization. Moreland spent three games with the team this preseason before being cut prior to the start of the year. Bringing him back after cutting him earlier this season, Toronto clearly likes but doesn’t love Moreland’s game. What does he offer the Raptors?

Defensive impact

Eric Moreland is an athletic, bouncy 6’10” center. He’s quick to leave his feet to attempt blocks and contest shots around the rim. Sometimes he can be a little too eager on defense, similar to, but not as bad as, Chris Boucher.

In college, Moreland showed excellent defensive ability, leading the Pac-12 in blocks and rebounds per 40-minutes pace adjusted. During his time in the G-League, Moreland continued that trend, earning first-team All-Defense.

During his lone NBA season with real-time on the court, Moreland posted impressive numbers. His 3.3-percent BLK% ranked in the top 10-percentile at his position. His 1.8 STL% would be one of the highest on the Raptors team this season. He’s can get a little hacky around the hoop, but you can live with that as long as he is providing excellent rim protection.

His advanced metrics are even better. His Defensive Box-Plus Minus of 5.8 would lead the Toronto Raptors team. It’s doubtful he would be able to sustain that same level of success in a larger more consistent role. However, Toronto doesn’t need him to play a larger more consistent role.

In many ways, Eric Moreland will be the best defensive big the Raptors have the second he steps on the court. His offense…. is a little more questionable.

Offensive skillset

Eric Moreland has the entire skill set on defense. Offensively, he lives a little more to be desired.

For starters, he really has no game outside of 5-feet. Last year with the Pistons, Moreland attempt greater than 70-percent of his shots within five feet of the hoop, with the majority of baskets coming from dunks and layups.  On shots inside 5-feet Moreland shot 61-percent. On shots outside of that range, 36-percent.

Having a rim-running center who can only play around the hoop is fine. DeAndre Jordan has been an All-NBA center simply by dunking everything in grasp. At 60-percent Moreland isn’t a particularly good around the basket, but he finishes well enough to get by.

Moreland’s biggest problem is turnovers. During his time in Detroit, Moreland posted a TOV% of 23.1-percent. That would be the highest on Raptors by a WIDE margin (the next highest is Marc Gasol at 15.2-percent).

Moreland wasn’t asked to make plays or run the offense. He simply was asked to dunk the ball and finish layups. He was a better pass than you would expect, but no matter how you frame it, posting a 23-percent TOV% in that role is horrific.

Toronto is hoping in a better offense with better spacing Moreland can reduce his turnovers. With fewer defenders around the basket, his scoring might improve as well. The Raptors don’t need Moreland to be incredible offensively. He just can’t be a complete negative.

Outlook with the team

It’s entirely possible Moreland won’t receive any time. Chris Boucher has been with the team longer and has shown enough flashes, that it might be time to give him some run.

dark. Next. Is it time to worry about Jeremy Lin?

But if the Raptors are using this as a tryout for their 15th roster spot once the playoffs start, they should give Moreland some time on the court to showcase his abilities. He’ll never be plan A, but he might show enough to prove himself as a solid insurance option.