Day one is in the books and now we bring you the second round of players the Raptors have brought in for a look...
The Toronto Raptors are back at it this morning.
After two pre-draft workout sessions yesterday, the club kicks off the next round this morning with six new players:
Yes, as opposed to yesterday, today's workout features six players who likely won't be taken in the first round, but all of whom have solid second-round potential. Considering the Raptors have two second-round picks at this point, they're doing their homework and again, have brought in three pairs to see how they match up. Considering the lack of options at 8 for TO from this group, we won't go into a long-form discussion on each, but let's get through the basics.
Jordan Taylor - 6-2, G - Wisconsin: Taylor was expected by many to be the top point guard in this draft after a solid 2010-11 campaign with the Badgers. But he struggled with his shot and didn't show the next level of play that most of us were expecting. That being said, he's much more of a true 1 than many players in this draft so if he was sitting around at 56 it would be hard to not take a shot.
Tyshawn Taylor - 6-4, G Kansas: The second Taylor in this workout is the one that has me most excited out of this group of six. On talent alone, Taylor should be a lock as a first-round pick but it took him until his senior to really start to show just how good a basketball player he can be. His ability to get to the rim as well as his speed, athleticism and physical traits have drawn compares to Jrue Holiday and if the Raps could get him with the 37th pick I feel it would be steal.
Kris Joseph - 6-7, F, Syracuse: Another option with Toronto's 37th pick should be Canadian forward Kris Joseph, coming off a great career with the Orangemen. He didn't solidify the lottery status that many expected after his Junior campaign, but if you're looking for legit NBA size and scoring at the 3 spot, especially in terms of an ability to knock down the 3, Joseph has it in spades. He's not the most athletic player at his position, and needs to do a lot better job attacking the basket consistently and finishing, but he's great value as a second-round option.
Kenny Gabriel - 6-8, F, Auburn: Gabriel is a bit of a sleeper in this draft considering he posted similar stats to Joseph last season but showed a greater propensity to be a rebounding threat at the next level. (Averaged seven a game.) In fact in many ways he's a bit of the opposite to Joseph, continuing the match-up trend we saw yesterday as the Raptors look to pair prospects in these workouts possibly to expose potential weaknesses. Gabriel isn't a scorer like Joseph, but he blocked 2.3 shots per contest and could be an interesting option next year defensively for a club.
Justin Hamilton - 6-11, C, LSU: Hamilton is another player who isn't on most mock draft boards, but could work his way into a second-round selection. After two quiet years at Iowa State, Hamilton transferred to LSU where he started to make his mark last season as a Junior. Averages of 13 points, 7 rebounds and a block per game don't blow you away, but he's got a soft touch around the hoop. Incidentally Draftexpress' "worst-case scenario" for Hamilton? How about Uros Slokar!
Robert Sacre - 7-0, C, Gonzaga: Here's another player I'm hoping the Raps take a long look at in the second round. Sacre was one of the top centers in the nation last year and possesses legit NBA size and strength at his position. Talking to his agent yesterday, Sacre is pretty pumped for this session, not only as a Canadian kid trying out for the lone Canadian team, but because he's longing to show teams just what he can do. My one question with Sacre is his rebounding as he's never averaged more than 6.3 rebounds a season for the Zags. However he's also been part of some very talented teams so one could argue that he's never needed to be the sole scoring/rebounding guy. The Raps will get a chance to see him at work against Hamilton today though and hopefully he has a good series of workouts over the next few weeks so that he ends up being a second round pick.