Look, I'm not ready to talk Tyler Hansbrough.
I'm just not.
Yes, part of that is the Duke backer in me, but there's a big chunk too that's just extremely skeptical about a player that Rob Mahoney accurately described in this fashion yesterday:
Hansbrough's energy is a tangible asset, but it also makes him appear to be a better defender than he actually is; activity should not be confused for acuity, and often Hansbrough can be caught out of position as a result of his frenetic scrambling.
That's my eternal image of Hansbrough, franticly waving his arms around and appearing like a strong defender, only to have players blow by him time and time again.
But again, I'm not ready to go into a full analysis on this signing yet so let's talk about some of the other news from yesterday, notably, the Dinos' Summer League roster finally being announced.
The names Quincy Acy, Terrence Ross, Jonas Valanciunas, and now Julyan Stone, are no surprise. These are the Raps' top youngsters under contract and all will benefit from another (or first in the case of Valanciunas and Stone) round of Vegas play with the Raps' crew.
In addition, back for another round this year are Chris Wright and Devoe Joseph, both of whom have played with the Raptors' Summer League squad last season. Wright went so far as getting a camp invite before being waived. Another invite, Alade Aminu, the brother of Al-Farouq Aminu, has a history with the Raps too dating back to his draft year.
However the rest of the roster may not be quite as familiar, so let's take a closer look at some of the participants on this year's team which I'm dubbing, Team Point Guard.
Trevor Mbakwe: Mbakwe was the name I was most excited to see on the roster. After all, he was one of our top sleeper draft options so seeing his inclusion certainly brought a smile to my face. As we've previously noted, Mbakwe is a beast in the paint and could easily dominate in a setting like this. His toughness, strength and athleticism down low might even be enough to entice a Training Camp invite and I'll be very curious to see if he perhaps outplays Mr. Acy. After all, this is a player many have described as a Kenneth Faried type, and one has to wonder if he hadn't had such a tumultuous college career, would he have been a first-round pick.
Jordan Taylor: Taylor is another interesting name to me. The former Wisconsin point guard looked like a potential first-round pick prior to his senior season but struggled with his shooting, eventually going undrafted. However a season of playing overseas may have fine-tuned his skillset and with the Raps potentially needing a third PG, he could play himself into training camp. Interestingly, one of the players Draftexpress compared Taylor to in terms of worst-case scenario was former Raptors guard Omar Cook though so we'll see how he performs in this setting before getting too carried away.
Ricky Harris: A 6-2 former UMASS guard, Harris can fill it up. He went undrafted in 2010 and has been honing his game in Europe ever since. (Video highlights, video highlights!!) He averaged nearly 20 points a game for UMASS in his senior season however he was never the most efficient shooter in college. Perhaps that's changed and the Raps want another look.
Tywain McKee: McKee is the player I know the least about on this club. He played at Coppin State until 2009 but I barely remember him during his tenure there. In many ways he seems to be a Ricky Harris clone, possessing the similar physical traits and a scorer's mentality. However he's been running the point for his European clubs so perhaps the Dinos want to give him a look at point guard as well.
Coby Karl: Hey, another potential point guard! Karl is of course the son of former Nuggets coach George Karl and has a long-standing relationship with the Raptors' new Assistant Coach (who will be leading the Summer League Team), Nick Nurse, so no surprise regarding his inclusion. Unlike the bulk of this team though, Karl has a fair amount of NBA experience, making stops with various teams and consistently being one of the top performers in the NBA's Development League. He's not the most athletic player, but is a very good marksman and excels in the pick-and-roll. Like Mbakwe, it wouldn't at all shock me to see Karl get a training camp invite and in fact, of anyone on this club, he'd be my top bet at this point.
Micah Downs: Finally, a small forward. You may remember Downs from the Jeremy Pargo/Austin Daye Gonzaga teams back in 2007-08. He was a highlight reel at times and a lock-down defender at others, able to use his 6-9 wingspan and substantial athleticism to wreak havoc on opposing clubs. However he was a poor ball handler and lacked much of a mid-range game, really the only two areas that held him back from getting an NBA roster invite. He spent some time in Europe after going undrafted, and then with the Maine Red Claws of the D-League (where he participated in the 2013 D-League All-Star Game.)
Gregory Echenique: We won't go into too much detail about Echenique seeing as we profiled him in our "Saturday Scouting" series back in February. He's another bruiser like Mbakwe who will see lots of time backing up Valanciunas and even Quincy Acy.
Mark Lyons: Lyons is one of the few more recent draftees on this roster, finishing up his senior season with the Arizona Wildcats last spring. Shockingly, he too projects as a point guard at the next level although one that may excel more as a scoring option than floor general. He averaged nearly 16 points a game last year for the Wildcats and only 2.8 assists. However he's an elite athlete and could turn some heads in a setting like this.