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Is Tristan Thompson a Realistic Target for the Raptors at Number Three Overall?

27 April 2011 10 Comments
Yes he is.

No if’s, and’s or but’s.

With news that Tristan Thompson will be entering the draft (he has yet to hire an agent and can change his mind again) emerging the Raptors have undoubtedly added his name to their short list.

Tristan Thompson has a legitimate shot to be drafted by the Raptors at number three overall and would provide the Raptors with another gritty, hard-nosed defender.

Currently the Raptors hold the third position in the draft, pre-lottery, and that means their draft board begins after their second highest rated prospect.

Their draft board would look like this today:

Kyrie Irving
Derrick Williams
Brandon Knight
Kemba Walker
Tristan Thompson
Enes Kanter

Thompson would be yet another power forward on a team overstocked on them, but that is what a G.M is paid for and it is always better to be dealing from a position of strength as opposed to a position of weakness.

Thompson has an amazing defensive game and averaged 2.4 blocks as a freshman including an exciting 17 point, 10 rebound, 7 block outing vs Oakland.

Thompson is, in the words of our David Thorpe, “a beast.” He’s one of the better offensive rebounders in the country, has developed a solid offensive game, plays his heart out and is a terrific athlete with long arms.

Source: ESPN

As noted in the above quote Thompson is a bit undersized for a power forward at 6’8 but makes up for it with his 7’2 wingspan.

Here are Tristan Thompson’s positives as per ESPN Insider’s Chad Ford:

  • Long, athletic forward
  • Huge 7-foot-2 wingspan
  • Excellent motor
  • Versatile scorer
  • Awesome on the offensive boards
  • Has a good handle for a big man
  • Good shot blocker

NBAdraftnet has this to say:

A lefty post player with a tremendous wingspan … He has made improvements to his body, shedding the baby fat he carried throughout high-school, he has also added some mass and definition (his frame shows the potential to support even more weight without taking away from his explosiveness) … A good athlete, he is able to make plays on both ends of the floor thanks to his length, energy and blue collar approach… He establishes good early position and gets a high number of easy looks in transition thanks to his ability to run the floor … Battles for position and is able to get touches very close to the basket because he seals and counterseals extremely well … Has very good hands and makes difficult catches in traffic and on the move … Shows the ability to turn to both shoulders effectively and can finish with mini jump hooks with both hands … He is becoming more comfortable using his body and quick feet to beat defenders to the spot … He flashes the ability to faceup and attack off the bounce, but he will need to continue to polish his handles before he can fully utilize his quick and long first step … Finds the seams in the defence and gets to the openings for quick and easy finishes without having plays run for him … When his energy level is high he can be a very good rebounder, especially on the offensive end … He has an extremely quick second jump, and he is able to time his attack and get his hands on a high percentage of missed shots … His length also posses problems on the defensive end, as he is able to recover quickly or slide over from the weakside to block and contest shots around the basket …

Thompson is said to play offensively as more of a C than a PF and to be a bit raw on that side of the ball but is, in my mind, a safer pick than a prospect who already has questions about his knees in Enes Kanter, if we decide to go big.

Thompson’s best NBA comparisons are Ed Davis and Brandan Wright, comparisons I think are made more for the fact that they are lefty’s than for distinct characteristics in their games.

Thompson has a chance to be even more special in some facets of the game than Ed Davis due to his strength on the offensive glass and his quick second-effort jumping ability which can lead to more blocks for Thompson vis a vis Davis.

A front court of Amir Johnson, Ed Davis and Tristan Thompson would be a major step in the right direction as all three bigs can play D and offer help defense as well.

With all this said and analyzed however the Raptors may still decide that point guard is a position we absolutely must address unless we land at number two overall.

However with Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker seen more as combo guards than pure points the Raptors may opt to give Bayless a run at PG next year and draft a promising big in Tristan Thompson or Enes Kanter.

The NBA draft lottery on May 17, 2011 will go a long way in deciding the future of the Toronto Raptors organization.

We will be analyzing player fits more in depth following the draft lottery.

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  • RapScolla said:

    The Raptors by picking Thompson would only be picking him for the wrong reason. Why pass Branond Knight to pick Thompson. If the Raptor want Thompson they are going to have to Trade some of their players for the right to draft him. Their is no point no pun intended in having 6 power forwards no number 1 point guard and no center.
    If the Raptors continue to only make picks base on fairy tales we migh one day lose our beloved franchise because all the bottom teams are improving we need to secure the most important position (PG) while it is in our reach instead of doind so with a 12 or 13 pick


    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    Hey RapScolla,

    Thompson in my mind is a safer bet than Enes Kanter whose knees are already a question mark

    I would prefer Knight and than Kemba but if we decide to go big and perhaps get a PG for Bargnani than I am all for it

    We are not in the position to draft based on position…I dont think any 22-60 team is

    Thompson, Davis and Johnson would be an incredibly exciting frontcourt that could also play some lockdown D

    Lets not count Evans or Bargnani as PF’s as we expect them to both be gone by the start of the 2011-2012 season

    I dont care that Thompson is from Brampton..I saw him dominate for texas and that seven block game was just incredible


  • Kimmy said:

    Honestly, how do people come up with **** like this. There is absolutely no chance that Thompson is considered at the Raptors’ pick.

    “Their draft board would look like this today:

    Kyrie Irving
    Derrick Williams
    Brandon Knight
    Kemba Walker
    Tristan Thompson
    Enes Kanter”

    Ummm, no. I can guarantee you that Kanter is currently third on their board, and Thompson is sure as **** not in their top 5. There is a better chance that they would take Terrence Jones, who can actually play the 3. Why the **** would the Raptors reach for a 4?


    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    Hey Kimmy,

    I disagree…Knight and Walker play PG which is a bigger position of need

    If we go big than Thompson is the safer pick than Kanter

    It is a GM’s job to draft the best available talent and work out the rest of the roster through trades

    We have only one big with the type of talent Thompson has and that is Ed Davis

    The reason I have Kanter so low at the moment is due to question marks with his knees


    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    When/If they get cleared I would bump him to 4 right underneath Knight

    Believe me when I tell you if BC is still here he will seriously hesitate to draft another European player


    SPIKE Reply:

    Kanters’ knee issue was three years ago back when he was 16. He had surgery and has fully recovered.


    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:


    I hope so, ESPN does not seem to think so

  • ilmago said:

    are you retraded? do you know anything about basketball?

    first of all thompson is going back to texas, he did not declare for the draft .

    Second of all , even if he did declare he is a mid first rounder at best. By saying he is top 5 material is a joke and you know nothing about basketball.


    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:


    Yes, he did declare, I guess you have been hiding under a rock…he changed his mind

    He is a lottery talent and is someone the Raps will look at if they decide they want a big….

    He has the tools to be a starter in the NBA while Kanter projects as a backup big on a good team….


    Raju aka RaptorCity Reply:

    If everyone declared he may not be a lottery talent



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