2012 NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors: The Art of Mocking V.2
Looking at the five mock drafts we trust most Andre Drummond to the Raptors seems to be gaining steam despite the presence of both Andrea Bargnani and Jonas Valanciunas.
“The Raptors have been looking for a legit small forward for the past several years and Harrison Barnes would be a perfect fit. However, after Barnes’ struggles this past weekend against Ohio and Kansas, the Raptors may want to take another look to see if he still has the upside we all thought he did coming out of high school.Drummond has been a disappointment, too, but if you are going to miss, you probably ought to miss big. Pairing him in a frontcourt with last year’s lottery pick, Jonas Valanciunas, could finally make Andrea Bargnani expendable.”
“Drummond is a great kid, but really struggled with consistency and focus after arriving on campus at UConn late. After Davis, Drummond has the most upside of any player in this draft class, and by a wide margin, but the fact that he did not improve much under one of college basketball’s top talent developers (Calhoun) is viewed as a red flag. Drummond’s motor runs hot and cold leaving many wondering whether he will live up to his vast potential. Said one scout about Drummond after their tourney loss to Iowa State in which he scored just 2 points. “He reminds me of Oden, and not in a good way.” He very easily could still end up the second overall pick, but teams will be sweating bullets with the thought of drafting a player with such a laid back demeanor. The organization that Drummond lands with will likely play a large part in his future success or lack thereof.”
This is what nbadraft.net had to say about Harrison Barnes:
“Athletic wing with long arms (7-foot wingspan), good muscle tone and excellent body balance … Kid with a great attitude, work ethic and willingness to improve … Has a disciplined approach. Shows a good understanding of the game making positive decisions with the ball … Doesn’t show many bad habits, good body language … Has excellent form on his shot, and developing range … Can pull up off the dribble and hit shots … Does a good job of attacking the basket and creating contact and free throw shooting opportunities … Good foot speed, both side to side and first step off the dribble … Already has good body strength and with wide shoulders and core strength, should be able to add additional strength without sacrificing any speed or agility … Knocks down shots from the line at a good rate … Has only been playing primarily on the wing for the past 18 months, before that he was an inside player so he’s on a steep development curve learning how to play the wing … Gives good effort on the defensive end getting low and using a proper defensive stance … Perspective. Appears to have a good understanding of where he is now, and where he’s going … Still shows a good deal of potential left in his game …”
Draftexpress still has Thomas Robinson pegged to land with the Raptors. Many may complain about his lack of size, but whether he is 6’9, 6’7 or 6’5, he has still proven that he is a more consistent rebounder than our current power forward.
Finally Walterfootball has Bradley Beal mocked to the Raptors, which would be a great selection if Dwane Casey believes DeRozan can man the three spot.
“The Raptors could go in a number of directions but they could really use a scorer on the wing. Bradley Beal is considered a “can’t miss” prospect and would give Toronto a nice wing tandem along with DeMar DeRozan.”
With the NCAA tournament finally at an end lottery projections are taking shape and Toronto Raptors fans should start familiarizing themselves with Bradley Beal, Harrison Barnes, Andre Drummond and Thomas Robinson. Jared Sullinger and Perry Jones are dark horses for our pick as they are both ripe with talent.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Anthony Davis are two players that will not be available if we stand pat around the fifth or sixth selections.
What would our big board look like today?
Harrison Barnes and Bradley Beal, if either one is available would likely amount to the best player available with Barnes playing a position of more need. Beal is considered to be of the can’t miss variety and may in fact be a safer pick than Barnes if we are willing to move DeRozan to small forward.
Robinson and Drummond are polar opposites with the smaller Robinson playing like we all wish Drummond would. Robinson averaged a robust 17.7 and 11.9 while the freshman Drummond only managed 10 points and 7.6 rebounds.
Who is the best fit for the Raptors?
At first glance it appears that Harrison Barnes is the best fit for the Raptors. Barnes fits the mould of the prototypical small forward a can be a lockdown defender for his future team. He has a great mid-range game, but is pegged as being a bit one-dimensional due to his penchant for scoring and nothing else, including not being proficient on beating his man off the dribble.
Bradley Beal would make an excellent Toronto Raptor with the obvious caveat being that we would have to move DeRozan to small forward rather than moving him in a trade. Beal can flat-out shoot, rebound, defend and has a high basketball IQ. Beal is a clutch player and is a good enough ball handler that he can play some point guard in a pinch.
Andre Drummond only makes sense here, if as if Chad Ford noted Bryan Colangelo decides to make Andrea Bargnani expendable…not likely; ditto for Thomas Robinson, Perry Jones and Jared Sullinger.
In conclusion it appears that Bradley Beal is actually the best fit for the Raptors due to the fact he is a more versatile player than Barnes and can create his own shot off the dribble, which is something that Harrison Barnes and incumbent starting wing DeMar DeRozan struggle with.
Starting at shooting guard for the Toronto Raptors Bradley Beal could become a household name and one of the NBA’s top two-guards for the next decade.
With all of this said Beal may not even be available when it is our turn to pick at which point there is really only one selection for the Raptors to make…Harrison Barnes.