Here's Raptorshq.com's breakdown of Sunday's four participants:
Who Is He? 6-1 Senior Guard for Marquette.
Last Year: Averaged 19.7 points and 7 assists in 23 games for the Golden Eagles. 2003-2004 Conference USA First Team All-Star.
What Can He Do? While undersized as a thin, 6-1 guard, Diener is as tough as they come. A deadeye shooter, Diener's pre-draft workouts along with his play at the Chicago Camp have boosted his stock . Prior to this, most scouts felt Diener had no chance to be drafted, even late in the second round. But as players like Jason Kapono and Kyle Korver have proven, there's always room on a team for a good shooter. Diener did a great job in Chicago and was the consumate point guard, finding open teammates and hitting the open jumper. He shot 41% from beyond the arc last season and therefore should be a 3 point threat in the league as well.
Bottome Line: Diener's main problem has always been his lack of physical tools. As mentioned, he's a bit undersized at the point and lacks the explosiveness and athleticness of other successful small guards such as Nate Robinson and Louis Williams. Diener struggled at times to both guard and get by other guards in college and this will be an even bigger problem in the NBA. Unlike his former teammate Dwayne Wade, Diener just doesn't have the athletic skills or strength at this point in his career to make up for his short-comings. The Raptors may consider drafting Diener with their late second round pick if he's still on the board. However he's not a clear cut point second round point guard ala Chris Duhon last year and re-signing the more talented Omar Cook and using the late pick on an overseas development project, is probably a better decision at this point.
Who Is He? 6-3 Senior Guard from Buffalo.
Last Year: Averaged 15.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.4 assists in 33 games for the Bulls. Named the 2004-05 Mid-American Conference Player of the year helping lead the Bulls to a school record 20 wins.
What Can He Do: Less heralded, Battle is a very similar player to the aforementioned Diener. While not as good a shooter and a better athlete, Battle is a warrior with a great competitive spirit who does a great job leading a team. He lead the Bulls in a number of categories and can score the ball with a quick first step and hit the open jump shot. Defensively Battle fights through screens, plays the passing lanes well and tries to use his strength against smaller guards.
Bottom Line: Battle, much like his namesake comes ready to play. He's aggresive on defence and while he lacks Diener's consistent form and outside shot, he is a much more well rounded player. The problem is that Battle may be viewed as a "jack of all trades, master of none" type. He also suffers from the same issue that many small school players do....under-exposure. If he had played for a Kentucky, a UConn or even a Marquette he'd be firmly considered for the second round. But as it stands, he's probably going to have to take the Euro route to get into the league...meaning it's unlikely we'll see him in a Raptors uniform next season.
Who Is He? 6-11 Freshman Center from Kentucky.
Last Year: Averaged 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in 34 games for the Wildcats. Was a member of the same AAU team as Dwight Howard and Josh Smith.
What Can He Do: Morris is one of this year's draft's most interesting stories. After almost entering last year's draft, Morris decided to enter this year after a mediocre freshman season for the Wildcats. Not that Morris doesn't have NBA size and abilities; but Kentucky's system doesn't usually feature the center (see Jamal Magloire) so it makes it difficult to gauge his skills after one season. Morris uses his agility to get to the rim and likes to dunk but he's not super athletic making him a non-factor on the shot blocking end. Morris did have some solid games for the Wildcats however and his face-up offence and agility will likely entice a team to take him late in the first round.
Bottom Line: The Raptors however will not be that team. Taking a player who is a poor rebounder for his size with the 16th pick is just not an option. Especially one who until late into his freshman season, was also seen by scouts as not having enough passion, desire and aggresiveness.
Who Is He? 7 foot Center from Pau-Orthez (French League).
Last Year: Averaged 6.2 points and 3 rebounds per game for his team last season. Averaged 14 points and 10 rebounds per game at the under 18 Championships in Spain.
What Can He Do: Petro is one of the few prospects in this year's draft with an NBA ready body. A great physical specimen Petro, who is a legit 7 feet, is also one of the most athletic players in the draft. He uses this and his good wingspan to rebound, block shots and score in close to the basket. His baby hook shot is quite lethal and while not quite Amare Stoudamire, is quite mobile around the basket.
Bottom Line: Petro at 19 is quite raw. While he has good size and athletic ability, his fundamentals still need work. His free throw shooting has improved from under 50% 2 seasons ago to just under 75% which is a testament to his work ethic. His rebounding and shot blocking should be better for someone of his size and at times Petro just gets lost in the offence. As is the case with many young, raw players, it's Petro's size and athletic abilities that should be intriguing to the Raptors. Picking him at 16 is a reach right now but if the Raptors moved down past the 20 spot in a trade, he would be very attractive. Petro and Bosh would give the Raptors one of the bigger and more athletic front courts in the league.