Raptors Pre-Draft Workouts - More Swingmen Including Early, Grant and Robinson III

Kevin C. Cox

The Toronto Raptors continue their pre-draft workout series with two more sessions today, one again featuring some very nice wing prospects.

Afternoon all, apologies for the delayed workout post today.  A few of our HQ team has been plotting on which workouts to attend to get the most "bang for our buck" and we were looking at today's edition with a good deal of interest. However we're looking for names like Hood, Payne and Payton to show up so we decided to abandon ship last minute, not sneak away from our jobs this time, and try for tomorrow and next week (Toronto has two workouts scheduled now next week as well.)

But for sure, there were some intriguing names on today's list, starting with one of our faves, Cleanthony Early.

Let's get to it...

Cleanthony Early - 6-7, F - Wichita State: The Wichita State Senior took another big step towards his NBA dreams last year helping his Shockers go undefeated during the regular season before losing out to Kentucky in the NCAA tourney's best game.  Early averaged 16 points and 6 rebounds and hit nearly 50 per cent of his shots from the field, and 38 per cent from long-range.

Verdict: Early is one of my favourite prospects in Toronto's draft range as he's got the tools to be an immediate impact player next season, and perhaps one of the vaunted "3 and D" types the NBA so covets.  He's got great size, length, athletic ability, and as noted, can certainly shoot the ball.  There are concerns about him transitioning to a pure 3 at the next level as he played a good chunk of 4 at Wichita State, but I think that's something he's more than capable of doing.

Here's his Draftexpress Scouting video:


Will Sheehey - 6-7, F - Indiana: The Senior averaged 11 points and 4 rebounds last year for Indiana in a somewhat underwhelming Hoosiers campaign.

Verdict: Not much to see here folks. I actually thought Sheehey regressed a bit last season for the Hoosiers and his PER results from 2012-13 vs last campaign bear this out.  Sheehey's your prototypical college forward, solid in all areas but not exactly a standout in any one and I think he'll have a rough go making it at the next level as a result.  For the Raptors, this could be an agent favour as I'd be shocked to see Sheehey selected at all on draft night.

Jerami Grant - 6-8, F - Syracuse: Grant averaged about 12 points and 8 rebounds last season for the 'Cuse, and routinely made highlight reel plays thanks to his elite athleticism and physical attributes.  The sophomore made big strides in his game from his rookie campaign but questions remain about his preparation for the next level.

Verdict: We've discussed Grant at length already so I won't go into a big spiel about his strengths and weaknesses.  I like Grant, but I worry about his basketball skills and for that reason, I'd rather see Toronto take a flyer on him in the second round if he's still there, than nab him at 20.  Regardless, it's encouraging that the Raptors brought him in for a look, and his play against another top athlete in Early, should give the club a little extra insight.

Here again is Grant's DraftExpress scouting video:


Josh Huestis - 6-8, G/F - Stanford: Huestis averaged 11 points and 8 rebounds for the Cardinal last season in his Senior campaign.  He shot 45 per cent from the field, and 33 per cent from long range.

Verdict: Kudos Raptors, kudos.  Huestis is one of my favourite second-round options this year, and I was thrilled to see his name on today's list.  As you can see above, his stats don't blow you away, but he's an excellent athlete with great length and defensive skills.  He blocked almost two shots a game last season, and could be one of those Wes Matthews types who falls under most NBA radars, but uses his skills to find a nice role for himself in the league.  At worst he's a great workout partner for the more highly rated Early and Grant, at best, Toronto finds a very good replacement for John Salmons.

Glenn Robinson III - 6-7, F - Michigan: The son of former number one overall pick Glenn, "Big Dog" Robinson, Robinson III averaged 13.1 points and 4.4 rebounds last season for the Wolverines.  He hit 48 per cent of his field goal attempts, but only 31 per cent of his long-range bombs, down slightly from his rookie season.

Verdict: Another nice get by the Raptors as Robinson has similar "3 and D" potential to the aforementioned Early, Grant and Huestis. We've profiled Robinson III already so won't rehash the specs but he's another player we're fond of as an option for Toronto in the upcoming draft.

Here is a recent DraftExpress workout video of Robinson III:


De'Mon Brooks - 6-7, F - Davidson: A top-notch scorer at Davidson the Senior Brooks is coming off a campaign where he scored 19 points a game to go with 7 rebounds and nearly a block. He also can stroke it from long-range hitting 45 per cent of his long-range shots last year.

Verdict: Brooks is the player I know by far the least about of this group.  I know he's racked up the accolades during his time at Davidson (he was SoCon Male Athlete of the Year and was twice named to the AP Honourable Mention All-American squad) but I can't recall seeing him play very often so don't have a lot of insight to give here.  He is another interesting second-round option for the Dinos though, and should be a very nice fit with this workout group, adding another long, physical specimen who can shoot the ball from deep.

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Of note, there was a second workout scheduled for today featuring the following participants:

Name                           Position          Height             College

Sim Bhullar C                     7-5                   New Mexico State

Alex Kirk C                     7-0                   New Mexico

Murphy Burnatowski F                      6-7                   Colgate

Shawn Glover F                      6-7                   Oral Roberts

Of this group, Bhullar obviously gets some interest because he's not only Canadian, but HUGE.

However that's about where things end in terms of my interest in him as a prospect and I'm not going to do a full breakdown on each of these four players.

Kirk and Bhullar should have a nice battle and both are ranked among DraftExpress.com's top 100 prospects, but neither get me very excited as second-round options for the Raptors.  Bhullar is simply a huge body, he's just not in the same range athletically or skill-wise as the vast majority of NBA big men.  And Kirk has some upside, namely his size and length, but he too leaves a lot to be desired in terms of NBA potential.

As for the wings, Glover is one of the better scorers in this draft and was First-Team All-Southland Conference last season.  He gets after it on D too so he's certainly worth a look, while Burnatowski is a similar player to Indian's Will Sheehey who we touched on above.  The Raptors continue their due diligence but other than some Can-Con, and maybe Glover, I think the focus should be on the first all-wing session today.

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