This morning we broke down the six participants in the first in this week's series of Toronto Raptors' pre-draft workouts. None were exactly huge profile guys with Kendall Marshall being the biggest name of the bunch.
While we weren't in attendance at this session, it's likely that Marshall was pitted against Devoe Joseph in hopes of getting a closer look at Marshall's ability to guard smaller, quicker, scoring guards, the likes of which he'll face in the NBA nearly every time he steps on the court.
However Marshall didn't get to go up against this draft's other top point guard prospects, including Weber State PG Damian Lillard, who's running through the paces right now for the Raptors in a similar pre-draft workout setting.
Only he's doing it alone.
Yes, this afternoon's session features a party of one, Mr. Lillard, likely participating in numerous shooting and dribbling exercises orchestrated by the Raptors' assistant coaches.
For this reason we chose not to take in Lillard's session as while he's our current favourite option for Toronto at eight, there's not much we'd likely be able to glean from the post-workout scrum. Having been to individual sessions before, DeRozan a few years back comes to mind, there's not much Raptors.com won't do a great job of distributing to the masses, so we'll likely pick and chose our spots for the rest of pre-draft trials.
However it is interesting that Lillard decided to go solo. It's not unprecedented for a potential top-10 pick to go this route, but it's curious considering Lillard was one of the few top prospects to participate in the drills and events at the recent Chicago Combine, a decision that was lauded by executives and media in attendance.
Could Lillard's agent Aaron Goodwin have decided that after the positive buzz from said Combine, further group sessions could only damage his stock? Lillard by many accounts is the top PG option in the draft so a bad workout against the likes of Marshall would only hurt his draft rank.
As well, the Raptors have seen this movie with Goodwin before. After all, he is the agent for DeMar DeRozan who as noted earlier, had a similar solo workout during his pre-draft preparations.
(And wait, Lillard has the same agent as DeMar? Could this mean!!!??)
In any event, a solo session doesn't change our take on him as of now. We're still talking about a player who averaged nearly 25 points a game on 47 per cent shooting, who got to the line eight times a game, dished out four dimes, and pulled in five boards a contest for good measure. These are just some of the stats that explains his LeBron-esque PER of 33.8, and the recent results of his athletic testing (second-best standing vertical jump) don't hurt the cause.