Raptors Pre-Draft Workouts - Carson Returns with Powell, O'Bryant and McAdoo

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Raptors get in one last workout session in advance of Thursday's draft featuring yet another crop of second-round options.

By Thursday, the Toronto Raptors will have seen every eligible basketball player on the planet who's eligible for the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft.

Ok.  Not quite, but with another session today that features yet another group of second-round options, the club has beaten the bushes pretty well during this process.

Truth be told I'm a bit disappointed actually.  Not because the club is being so thorough, but because I was convinced today's workout session would feature some of their top options, being brought back in for a second look and some intriguing head-to-head battles, and for that reason, I had a fake doctor's appointment ready to roll so as to escape work.

However no such luck as the Dinos again have gone with lesser-known players, essentially crossing off the bulk of DraftExpress's Top 100 prospects in the process.

That doesn't mean there aren't some interesting names though on today's list, so as we've been doing all draft lead-up, we'll take a look at each.

First though, for those of you who didn't see the tragic news yesterday, recent Raptors' pre-draft workout participant and Baylor Bear prospect Isaiah Austin won't get to see his NBA dreams come true.  He was recently diagnosed with Marfan syndrome, a rare genetic disorder, and physical exertion therefore becomes a potential life-and-death matter.

Here's the full breakdown from SB Nation's Our Daily Bears.

My heart goes out to Austin and his family and I just hope that he's able to find some other way to stay involved with the game he loves.

Jahii Carson - 5-10, G - Arizona State: Carson averaged 18.6 points, 4.6 assists and 4.0 rebounds last season for the Sun Devils.  State's go-to offensive option, Carson makes up for his small stature by possessing blinding speed and elite athleticism, helping him get by, around, and even over, other defenders.  Not a pass-first point guard by nature and only a decent shooter, Carson's going to need to thrive in open court situations at the next level in all likelihood.

Verdict: If you remember reading that paragraph before on the site, it's because you did. Carson was supposed to workout with Russ Smith, Nick Johnson and Jordan Clarkson earlier in the Raptors' workout process, but he had to sit out due to injury.  This then is the redo, as again, the Raptors are leaving no stone unturned.

Semaj Christon - 6-3, G - Xavier: Bray averaged about 17 points, 3 rebounds and 4 assists for the Muskateers last season, and was a unanimous 2013-14 First Team All-BIG EAST Conference selection and All-BIG EAST All-Tournament Team member.

Verdict: Christon's a player I don't know too much about.  Even with Xavier's move to the Big East, I just didn't get to see him play much so let's leave this breakdown to the experts at DraftExpress.com:


Halil Kanacevic - 6-8, F - St. Joseph's: Kanacevic averaged about 11 points and 9 rebounds in his senior season with the Hawks.  A transfer from Hofstra, Kanacevic is the only player in St. Joe's history to record over 1,000 points, 1,000 rebounds, 400 assists and 200 blocks.

Verdict: Yikes.  I know even less about Kanacevic than I do about Christon.  Statistically he had a very solid NCAA career, and last season was an Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team selection. He was the MVP of the 2014 Atlantic 10 Championship as well, averaging 15.3 points and 14.3 rebounds helping to lead his Hawks to the title.

But in terms of strengths or weaknesses or upside, I'm not sure and this looks more like a case of Toronto making sure they're crossing the top college players from last season off their list.

James Michael McAdoo - 6-9, F - North Carolina: McAdoo averaged about 14 points and 7 rebounds for the Tar Heels last season.  He was voted second-team All-ACC by the media, and third team by the coaches and finished his UNC career with over 1200 points and 600 rebounds.

Verdict: We go from two players I know very little about to one I know too much about.  As a Duke fan, McAdoo has been on my radar for some time and you may recall that as a rookie, he was considered a lock to be a future NBA lottery pick.

Oh how things have changed.  Showing very little development in his game at either end of the floor, McAdoo now may not hear his name called at all on draft night.  His case reminds me a lot of PITT's Chris Taft, a very similar player in terms of physical stature, who at one point looked to be the number one overall pick in the 2005 NBA Draft.  But as the 2004-05 season unfolded, Taft's stock dropped to the point that he was taken 42nd overall in that draft after all was said and done, and he couldn't find a spot for himself in the L.

That's my biggest concern with McAdoo, I'm just not sure what he does at the next level.  He's got no mid-range game, is an underwhelming rebounder for someone with his physical tools, and isn't a great creator or passer either.  With his frame and length, I consistently came away from games disappointed about his lack of "take over" ability. If that was the case in the NCAA, I'm not sure what happens then when competition gets that much better in the NBA.

That being said, I'm glad Toronto brought him in for a look.  His combination of size and quickness is still very intriguing, and if he could ever hone his shot to an Amir Johnson-esque level, he might be very valuable off the bench for a team, and as a result, Toronto could likely do a lot worse with its 59th overall pick.

Here's his preseason scouting video via DraftExpress.com:


Johnny O'Bryant - 6-9, F - LSU: O'Bryant averaged about 15 points, 8 rebounds and a block per game for the Tigers last season.  A former McDonald's All-American, O'Bryant was voted to the All-SEC's Second Team this past spring.

Verdict: This should make for a very interesting workout.  Like McAdoo, O'Bryant is a physically gifted big man who spends the bulk of his time in the post.  A top recruit coming out of High School, O'Bryant perhaps didn't have quite the career at LSU that many envisioned, but he did show a lot of progress from his rookie campaign, slimming down and refining his face-up game and shooting touch.

He's turnover prone, and needs to continue to work on his jump-shot, but O'Bryant could be a nice find in the second-round for a club.  When dialed in, O'Bryant can be a monster as evidenced by this nice little box score against Kentucky's NBA-caliber front-line last season.

Dwight Powell - 6-11, F - Stanford: Powell averaged about 14 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists per game last year for the Cardinal. The Canadian was an All-Pac 12 First-Team honouree and led his team in assists and steals from the forward position.

Verdict: Rounding out today's workout session we have the only top-ranked Canadian outside of Andrew Wiggins that had to this point not made the trek to the ACC.  Sitting at number 50 on DraftExpress.com's mock draft, Powell could very well hear his name called on draft night thanks to his intriguing all-around game, making him a bit of a Boris Diaw clone at the collegiate level.  One of the best passing big-men in the draft, Powell possesses a nice combination of size and skill as well as three-point range, thus making him a very tough matchup for most D1 opponents.

But will that be the case at the next level?  That's the biggest question facing Powell right now and a slightly underwhelming Senior campaign after a breakout Junior one, doesn't help matters.  He's likely a "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" type player and in the right system, could be a useful addition.

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