There were no stars uncovered by Bryan Colangelo at last night’s NBA Draft but Al Dannity says the selections made could pay off in the long-run for Toronto.
Ross will make immediate impact
The Raptors had a choice to make with the #8 pick when their top three choices went off the board. They could take a risk on Austin Rivers, my preferred option, go conservative with Jeremy Lamb or end up somewhere in between. They went with the third option and that landed Terrence Ross, a versatile swingman from Washington. Defensively he should fit in nicely to a Raptors team that is already reasonably stout at containing opponents. Ross is an improvement to Toronto’s offensive arsenal but that’s as much due to the lack of weapons on the current roster as it is the swingman’s own talents. Ross has indicated a preference to play at shooting guard and it’s probably his best position but expect to see him used as much at small forward in 2012/13. This is not the kind of pick that turns the Raps into contenders overnight but Ross is the type of player who will work well with other players brought in.
Acy and Zubcic have upside but it’s limited
Quincy Acy’s work ethic gets the Baylor man a ton of praise but he seemed a particularly conservative choice at #37. Acy’s skill set does not scream of a difference maker in this league and his most important contributions may come in practice. Greece’s Kostas Papanikolaou was still on the board when Acy was selected. After a magnificent performance in the Euroleague Final last month, he looked like a good option to stash in Europe for a season before bringing into the NBA. Likewise Furkan Aldemir was also available at that slot, after the Turkish sensation impressed with Galatasaray and with Turkey’s youth teams.
Instead the Raptors made a rather different Euro-centric pick, drafting 22 year old Croatian Tomislav Zubcic with the #55 pick. For a 6’11” big man, Zubcic is not much of a scoring threat at the rim. Likewise his lateral movement in defense isn’t inspiring. Were the Raps not already lacking in threats at the post these wouldn’t be killer faults but realistically Zubcic doesn’t look like a player with the tools to help Toronto.
Three Canadians drafted
Aside from the Raptors, it was a good night for Canadian Basketball, with three Canadians drafted. Andrew Nicholson, Mississauga, Ont., was drafted at #19 by the Magic after leading St Bonaventure to the NCAA Tournament. Former Syracuse standout Kris Joseph, from Montreal, was drafted at #51 by the Celtics while Robert Sacre from North Vancouver was the last man selected as he went to the Lakers with the #60 pick.
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