Here's Raptorshq.com's breakdown of Friday's four participants:
Who Is He? 6-7 High School Senior Guard for Gulf Shores Academy.
Last Year: Averaged 33 points, 12 rebounds and 7 assists for his high school squad. Put in 24 points at this year's McDonald's All-Star Game and was named the MVP of the 2004 ABCD camp.
What Can He Do? Green is another player we've discussed ad nauseum here at Raptorshq. Perhaps the top prospect in the draft, Green is an extremely quick, smooth and athletic player often compared to another former Raptor, Tracy McGrady. Like McGrady, Green is long and lean with a 40 inch vertical leap to go with the ability to finish around the rim. Like McGrady at this age, Green is also a great ball handler, can create his own shot off the dribble and has great range on his shot.
Bottome Line: Green would be an interesting pick for the Raptors. T-Mac comparisons aside, his upside based on his current skill set is obviously a big attraction. Many scouts feel Green has superstar potential written all over him and a 7th overall selection by the Raptors would be based entirely on this. The question now is whether he will last until the 7th pick. As we've been reporting for the past few weeks here at Raptorshq, many teams are enamored with Green including the Lakers who may be trying to trade up above the Raptors in order to take him. If he does fall to the Raptors at 7, fans must know what they're getting. Much like Dorrell Wright who barely played a minute for Miami last year, Green is right now too thin and inexperienced to help the team and fans may not see much of him for the next few seasons. This pick then would be in effort to build a solid foundation for seasons' down the road. You have to wonder though whether this makes sense for the Raptors. Under the newly renegotiated CBA, Green would be under guaranteed contract with the Raptors for only 2 years as opposed to 3. What happends if he barely sees the court in his first two years, the team is stuck at the bottom of the league standings, new management comes in and they let him go after that, only to see him develop into a star with another team? This is the debate Babcock will have in choosing a Green over a more finished product like a Danny Granger. Do you choose raw potential knowing that you (or he) may not be around to see the finished product? Or do you draft based on need and someone who can help out right away? Last year, Babcock drafted on need right away so it will be interesting to see what he does this time around.
Who Is He? 6-8 Junior Power Forward/Center from North Carolina.
Last Year: Averaged 17.5 points, 10.7 rebounds and 1.0 block in 37 games for the Tar Heels. Was the MVP of the 2005 Final Four helping his Tar Heels to win the title.
What Can He Do: May was a beast in the paint for UNC last year. He has terrific hands and great footwork and matched with his huge girth, he is a very difficult matchup for opposing players. While not a terrific leaper, his size allows him to get great position and his soft hands catch almost everything off the glass. These soft hands may be his best asset as he is a great finisher around the rim and can finish in traffic. His low post scoring with his back to the basket has improved each season and his tireless work effort should ensure a great pro career.
Bottom Line: Is he the next Zach Randolph or the next Marcus Fizer? The knock on May since Day 1 has been his size and lack of athleticness. At 6-8, he may be a bit undersized for the PF position in the NBA, however it's his lack of leaping ability and all-around athletic ability that compounds this. May has always appeared to be carrying around some extra weight but in pre-draft workouts he's looking slimmer. I also think that reports of his lack of athletic ability are a bit exagerated...he's no Oliver Miller. In fact, May was a pleasant surprise at pre-draft testing in Chicago having a faster sprint time then smaller players like Danny Granger and Monta Ellis. His vertical leap was quite good as well at 33 inches and these stats may help his draft stock. May's inside game coupled with Chris Bosh's outside touch and athletic ability would be a solid Eastern Conference tandem for the Raptors. The Raptors desperately need some size and touch around the rim and May would bring that. Seeing May in a Raptors uniform next season may indeed be dependent on what teams prior to the Raptors 16th pick do. Right now his stock is all over the board as some teams feel he's undersized while others feel he'll be a great player in the league.
Who Is He? 6-10 Senior Power Forward/Center from South East Louisiana.
Last Year: Averaged 11.3 points, 7.2 rebounds and 1.6 blocks in 33 games for the Lions. Helped lead the Lions to their second straight Southland Conference regular-season title and was a first team selection for the all conference squad.
What Can He Do: Lofton can do a bit of everything. He's got legitimate NBA size and can be a terror in the paint. Lofton has an array of polished offensive moves and is also a decent rebounder. He shot almost 55% from the field due to his great interior play but struggles from the free throw line where he shot only 58%.
Bottom Line: While Lofton wasn't invited to this year's pre-draft camp, he's an interesting prospect. Lofton is another former JUCO transfer who's just now getting some exposure. While he can be foul prone, he was also Southeastern Louisiana's best passer averaging almost 3 assists a game. Lofton is a long shot to make the league next year, maybe on the sole fact that not enough people have seen him play hidden away in the Southland Conference. His squad nearly gave Joey Graham and OK State a scare in the first round of this past year's NCAA tournament although foul trouble limited him to 27 minutes and only 6 points and 5 rebounds in the game. You have to hand it to Rob Babcock though for bringing in both well known players such as the aforementioned May, and sleeper pics like Lofton. In fact, watching a Sean May workout against someone like Lofton will be a great indicator of both players' strengths and where they could fit in with the Raptors.
Who Is He? 6-10 Power Forward/Center from Benetton Treviso (Euro-League).
Last Year: Averaged 4.1 points and 1.7 rebounds for his team last season. Was a member of the 2004 Italian National Cup with Benetton Treviso.
What Can He Do: Slokar is a good example of an International prospect that may have stayed overseas TOO long. Slokar vowed scouts at the under 20 Euro Championships in Lithuania 3 years ago and looked to be a great NBA prospect. He was promptly signed by Benetton Treviso but has not managed to retain scouts attention since. While Treviso is traditionally one of the better European clubs and the most NBA friendly in terms of player development, Slokar has struggled to play solid minutes. He is a great shooter, has NBA 3-point range, and plays with great intensity and toughness.
Bottom Line: Slokar suffers the same knock on him as many Europeans...his size. Slokar is still too skinny to guard the PF position in the NBA and is not agile enough to guard the quicker SF's. He had re-constructive knee surgery back in 2000 and while seems fully recovered, he appears to have languished overseas too long. While he averaged 16.4 points and 6.1 rebounds with Geoplin Slovan Ljublijana in 2002/03, Benetton's depth has made it difficult for him to consistently show off his skills. He is still an intriguing prospect however as a big man with his fundamentals and shooting stroke is hard to come by. It will be interesting to see how he fares working out against the more physical Lofton and May and this may go a long way in determining if he would be worth a late second round pick by the team.
Tomorrow's Workout: None Scheduled.
Sunday's Workout: Travis Diener, Turner Battle, Randolph Morris, Johan Petro.