With the NBA Draft now just around the corner the HQ's Scott Campsall checks in with a quick overview of some of the potential options for the Dinos to consider with the 8th overall pick.
There has been a great deal of talk regarding the possible shopping of the Raptors' number eight overall pick of late--something that Adam took a look at extensively on Thursday . However, the possibility remains that the Dinos may opt to keep that pick and select one of the many available prospects.
So, in the invent that the Dinos do use that pick; here is an early list of a few possible candidates that they may target at number eight:
Barnes is one of the biggest enigmas in this draft. Barnes entered his freshman year at North Carolina as one of the most highly touted high school prospects in recent history, but he left as one of the biggest disappointments in college basketball.
His inability to get to the basket and create offense for himself plagued him during his time at UNC. In addition, his lack of clutch play down the stretch in key games ultimately hurt his reputation as a big-time college prospect.
But, Barnes does have some legitimate NBA skills. Barnes is still a great shooter if he can get the ball in spot up, or limited dribbling situations. His size also puts him in a great position to become a good defender in the future should he put in the necessary work. If he is on the board a number 8-which according to reports, seems unlikely-expect the Dinos to take a long look at him.
Speaking of underachievers at the collegiate level, Perry Jones lll was one of the most notorious underachievers over the past couple of seasons. At 6'11 Jones has the size of a centre and the skills of a guard including a fairly impressive mid range game. But, again, some concerns exist about his motor and inability to step up and take over games.
For what it's worth Jones has been impressing during early workouts and seems determined to prove to scouts and GM's that he can play at an elite level in the NBA. Jones could easily fill that scoring small forward role that the Dino's desperately need, or could end up being just another Raptor draft day bust.
Damien Lillard is one of the hottest names in the draft right now due to his impressive showings at individual workouts and this week's NBA Draft Combine. His ability to get to the basket as well as make the long range jumper have him on the Raptors' radar as the possible point guard of the future, along with the next player on this list.
There are however, a couple of concerns when it comes to considering Damien Lillard with the number eight selection. The first is the fact that Lillard has not shown the ability to play the role of the traditional point guard, which is to say that he was not overly impressive with his ability to get the ball to his teammates as evidenced by is lowly 4 assists per game last season. The other concern is that Lillard played against weak competition in the Big Sky conference and may not be able to produce as well against the elite athletes in the NBA.
Thanks to an unexpected transfer by their starting point guard Larry Drew Jr. the North Carolina Tar Heels turned to Kendall Marshall to lead their team last season, and ever since he has done exactly that demonstrating all of the key aspects of a consummate floor leader.
Last season Marshall was second in the nation in assists per game and very well may have been the heart and soul of North Carolina team that were a serious threat to win the national title. That is before a wrist injury caused Marshall to sit out their final tournament games.
If the Raptors were to target Marshall with this pick they would be selecting a pass first point guard created out of the same mold as Andre Miller-not an overly spectacular offensive player, but one that will effectively run your team year after year.
Jeremy Lamb was a part of the 2011 NCAA championship team and played the perfect sidekick to Charlotte's lottery pick last year Kemba Walker. This season, the UConn Huskies turned to Lamb to lead their team and did so with mixed results.
Lamb was solid this season, shooting 48 percent from the floor and 33 percent from beyond the three-point arc, but was not quite the leader the Huskies were looking for. In Lamb the Raptors would be drafting a very strong mid-range shooting who has the ability to break down the defense and get the ball to the basket, yet a potential liability at the defensive end.
Austin Rivers was another outstanding freshman this past season and although he was unable to lead the Duke Blue Devils to a deep run in the NCAA tournament-sorry Franchise-he did more than enough to prove to scouts that he can flat out score the basketball.
Although it was initially believed that there would be an effort to establish Rivers as a point guard, it is clear at this point that his position in the NBA will be at the off-guard. If the Dinos were to consider Rivers with their selection, they would likely be looking at a sixth man scorer that plays a similar role to that of Jamaal Crawford, but if he can show some strides on the defensive end of the floor the possibility remains that he may crack the starting lineup, especially if you consider Toronto's desperate need for a scoring wing player.