The Toronto Raptors are the league’s foremost team in prioritizing length and strength in the backcourt. Adhering to those principles once again could help the Raptors land an absolute steal in the 2022 NBA Draft in the form of Arizona point guard Dalen Terry.
Every year, some players profile as better professional studs than collegiate players due to their unusual play styles. Terry is without question one of those prospects, as Arizona’s scheme didn’t cater to someone with his unique collection of skills for a point guard.
Terry is not letting the lack of tremendous scoring in college keep his stock down. In fact, his status within the NBA scouting community has never been better. Terry has workouts scheduled with teams like the Hawks and Cavaliers, who have picks in and around the fringes of the lottery.
Terry isn’t going to set the world on fire as a scorer, but that only tells half the story when it comes to representing him as a prospect. With Toronto needing a backup point guard, the same philosophy that led them to Dalano Banton could help convince the Raptors of Terry’s future star status.
The Toronto Raptors could draft Dalen Terry.
The offense questions are fair. While Terry made 50% of his attempts and 36% of his 3-point shots, he averaged just 8.0 points per game despite starting 37 games and getting heavy playing time. A passive player who lacks elite athletic ability, Terry will not be a dynamic scorer as a rookie.
That shouldn’t deter Masai Ujiri and the Raptors. At 6-7, Terry’s wingspan exceeds seven feet. It doesn’t take an Ivy League scholar to see how he would fit in on a team that fixates on vigorous defense. His defensive instincts, ability to create turnovers, and skill at defending three positions despite his frame are all music to Ujiri’s ears.
On top of being a solid rebounder for a guard, Terry is a much better passer than his 3.7 assists per game average would suggest. Terry is a dynamic playmaker who can keep the offense moving. A solid leaper, Terry may have a very low floor in the pros.
The Raptors were using Scottie Barnes and Pascal Siakam as backup point guards last year, so the idea of turning Terry into a gangly backup who could be a defensive juggernaut is probably high on Nick Nurse’s list of fantasies. Terry won’t be for everyone, but he’s perfect for the Raptors.