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2012 NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors: The Art of Mocking V.2

4 April 2012 6 Comments

March Madness is now complete and we will take this opportunity to scour the updated mock drafts as we try to project and evaluate potential future Toronto Raptors.

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.

Here is what ESPN Insider Chad Ford had to say about changing his projection from Harrison Barnes to Andre Drummond.

“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.”

Hoopshype also mocked Andre Drummond to the Raptors and had this to say about the disappointing big man:

“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.”

NBAdraft.net still believes like most of us in Toronto do, that if Barnes is still available when the Raptors are on the clock that he will become the newest Toronto Raptor.

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
Bradley Beal
Andre Drummond
Thomas Robinson
Jared Sullinger
Perry Jones

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.

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6 Comments »

  • PBJake said:

    I think if Raptors aren’t able to lock up pick 1 or 2, Raptors should seriously consider moving down the draft. Beal isn’t as impactful as MKG though he’s got some heart, and others don’t fit the core we’re trying to establish. Barnes seems high-risk and a possible draft bust. Drummond/Robinson would be redundant, thus a waste of a pick. I say we deal with the Bayless situation and see if he wants to re-sign. If he does come back, we trade the pick for a solid 3 (not sure exactly who’d that be, but someone like Ariza). Otherwise if Bayless ain’t coming back, we move down and get a good reliable backup PG like Marshall or Lillard.

    [Reply]

    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    Hey PBJake,

    I think Beal would be an excellent add to our team and will be a better scorer in the NBA than MKG, the only issue being whether or not DeRozan will have success at small forward (which I think he will)

    Barnes will not be a bust by any stretch as teams are now able to more closely discern his games strengths and weaknesses vis a vis last year, so you know what you are getting

    Barnes will be a better pro than Ariza in my mind and on a rookie salary and that

    The bigs dont make sense unless we deal Andrea

    as far as point guards go, Chad Ford has Tony Wroten Jr as the PG with the highest upside…but definetly not worth an early lottery pick, he could be a another target if we decide to trade down

    [Reply]

  • Maram said:

    I agree with you. Raptors need either one of these two guys IF they want to win something big in next 5 years. In that case winning 3 games in a row and pushing hard to win as many games as they can in rest of the season won’t help at all. It is clear that coach is trying to establish a culture but it may backfire to raptors in future by starting to win these games so late because they are not going to make playoff and any miracle will not happen here. They need to loose as many games as they can for there own good. However, they can win always win something from these lose. bargnani can improve his rebounding and 3 point shooting specially when the clock is running down. derozan can improve his 3 point and driving to basket. J. johnson can improve his mid range jump shot. They will loose trying all these but it will help them in coming years and they can count it as win. Now as they are winning the games, they are out of top 5 draft picks and the way things are going, they are not likely be even in top 10. In that case they will miss the opportunity to grab a real talent that would actually help them in coming years and win something big than winning and pushing very hard to win last few games in the season. This is where cavaliers shine who is truly rebuilding their team and most likely they will steal raptors pick because they are also looking at these two guys.

    [Reply]

    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    Hey Maram,

    I totally agree,

    I know NBA players will not go out and try to lose on purpose unless you play in Charlotte but the Raptors need to think long-term, the better pick we can get the better off we will be for years to come

    Someone needs to tell Dwane Casey this

    [Reply]

  • Guyana24-0 said:

    Man I am so happy I’m not a GM after number 1 pick anyone could be pick.

    Harrison Barnes and Kidd-Gilchrist are both great picks if Raps can get anyone of them. I know Barnes didn’t exactly pan out the way people may have wanted him to but no question he has what Raptors need offense at that wing position as well he can play defense just as good.

    Then if Drummond is left on the board if we are able to get him I wouldn’t mind seeing what him and Jonas can do. But I’m not a wait kind of a guy right now. It took Bargnani his third year before he started improving now he is fairly decent but still not the best, your 7 foot and only grabbing 5 boards, thats not enough. Derozan seems to be the best player he can be unless he bulks up along with Davis who I was hyping up this year and he has been horrible.

    I guess it’s all about where what position we get which I think won’t be no higher than 5 but no lower than 7. I love Beal but does that improve our team with Derozan or does it stall our team trying to get rid of Derozan.

    I say go with either Gilchrist or Barnes if either of them are still there I personally would choose Gilchrist if both are left. If both are gone go for Drummond, if he is gone for the best damn player on there and if it is as late as 7 it may be Beal, Sullinger, or Jones.

    I don’t know why I’m saying half these guys some of them might not even declare for the draft.

    [Reply]

    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    Hey Guyana24-0,

    I think all the players you mentioned will declare

    I believe DeRozan has been miscast as a shooting guard and could improve by leaps and bounds if moved to small forward, KD started out as a shooting guard but really took the leap once moved to his more natural position of small forward

    Drummond is interesting but only if we agree to jettison Bargnani, he could be a complete bust if not given 30 minutes a night

    I love Barnes and would be happy with that pick anywhere from 3 on

    MKG however may go too early for the Raps to get a hold of which is why he is not really on our radar right now

    Beal looks like a can’t-miss prospect

    [Reply]

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