No...not red flag as in "steal of a deal..." the HQ takes a look today at some prospects they'd rather Bryan Colangelo and the Raptors avoid come draft day...
1) Kemba Walker, 6-1 G, UCONN.
It's not that I don't like Walker.
In fact he was one of my favourite players in college last year.
He's probably the toughest player in the draft to stay in front of, has been clutch over and over in his collegiate career, has improved immensely as a shooter during his time at UCONN, and is deadly in the pick-and-roll, all traits that bode well for a successful NBA career.
However I'm just not convinced he's going to be an impact player at the next level, and on top of this, I'm not convinced he'll be any different than Jerryd Bayless in the L.
Will he possibly be an amazing 6th man down the road? I think so, but I'm just not sold on the Raptors anointing him as their franchise point guard of the future, or a cornerstone piece, something I feel the Dinos need to get if they stick at the fifth draft position.
That being said, if the Raps were somehow able to trade down and still get Walker in some way, count me as one happy camper.
2) Bismack Biyombo, 6-9 F, Spain.
You look at Biyombo's size, length, athleticism and background and you can't help but think Serge Ibaka right?
I've got another name for you, Saer Sene.
If you don't remember Sene, he was the 10th pick in the 2006 draft by the Seattle Sonics during a time in which they took gamble after gamble on athletic, shot-blocking big men (anyone remember Robert Swift?)
To say Sene was a bust would be putting it mildly and while by no means am I saying that Biyombo is headed down the same road, I'm just a bit confused about the certainty of picking someone like Bismack when there is virtually no significant data on him.
Yes, he was a force at the Nike Hoop Summit, but that was only one example. His stats in the Spanish league are much more modest and folks like ESPN.com's Fran Fraschilla have gone on record to say that he essentially has no offensive game. He can catch and dunk and...well that's about it.
Now obviously if you're drafting Biyombo you're doing it for his defensive attributes, but you have to wonder about someone this raw, and someone that there's so little to go off of, especially since it doesn't sound like he's even going to work out for teams! How can you possibly make an educated decision this way?
If the Raptors had two lottery picks in this draft then maybe they take a swing but I just don't think this club can afford a swing and a miss in the top 5.
3) Enes Kanter, 6-11 F/C, Kentucky/Turkey.
i was going to put Kanter on this list for similar reasons as Biyombo.
For starters, the kid has barely played organized basketball in the last two years thanks to eligibility issues in both high school and then college so there's absolutely no one on this planet that can predict with certainty just how good he'll be as an NBA player.
Does he pass the NBA look and feel test?
I was actually impressed with his fitness level when watching him during the combine the past two days, and he measured out as a legit 6-11 player with nearly a 7-2 wingspan. He hardly looks like the second-coming of Hoffa and Tim Grover, his trainer these past few months, hardly takes on players who don't look to be legit NBA prospects.
But again, can Toronto afford to whiff on this pick?
The club really needs a sure thing at their current draft spot and I personally think the club is better off finding its big man of the future via free agency then trying to groom another big man project.
But the real kicker for me came late yesterday afternoon when it was reported that Kanter refused to interview for three NBA teams in attendance at the draft, one of them being our Raptors.
Some may say "oh, Ed Davis did the same thing, no big deal" but the reality is that Davis turned down Toronto's workout offer, and did this simply because his agent didn't think he'd drop as far as 13 in that draft.
Kanter refusing to even interview tells me he (and or his agent) have their hearts set on playing somewhere else (apparently Washington with John Wall.)
Now that's not the be all end all. This stuff happens during the draft process and it's still quite possible that he goes to work out for Toronto.
But remember Bryan Colangelo's motto at one point was "we want players who want to play here" so at this point when you combine this decision with the complete lack of relevant analytics and footage, I'd say "nexxxxxt."
4) Donatas Montiejunas, 7-0 PF/C, Lithuania.
The final two players seem to be long-shots to be taken at five anyways but I wanted to include them on the list in case the Raps drop a few spots in the draft.
I'll start with Montiejunas though and simply say no, no, no.
Forget that he's been compared to Andrea Bargnani by some, more to the point, if the Raps grab a near 7-footer, they need to get a true center.
The "Andrea Bargnani at the 5" experiment hasn't worked, so for the Raptors to try this again for some reason would simply make me start up a Leafs' blog.
5) Jimmer Fredette, 6-2 G, BYU.
And finally we come to Mr. Fredette.
A better JJ Redick?
A bigger Eddie House?
Who knows how Jimmer turns out but I'm hoping the Raptors stay away.
Like Walker, i think Fredette could be an amazing asset to a team, and a great role player, but I'm just not sold on him being given the reigns to the club.
I think he'll be ok in creating space to get his shot off in the L, he's got great size and a very crafty series of moves, but as a point guard who can run the pick-and-roll? He did very little of this at BYU and while his scoring should be translatable to the NBA, I have my doubts that he'll be able to eventually become a full-time starting floor general.
But hey, that's just me.
I also thought that Steph Curry would be a JJ Redick clone at this level so...
A few others I'm not crazy about the Raptors grabbing in any round...
-Tristan Thompson F, Texas - Great Canadian kid but to me he's at best Amir part II...which the Raptors have.
-Reggie Jackson PG, Boston College - This feels like a lot of hype for someone who didn't blow me away in the ACC
-DeMetri McCarney PG, Illinois - Similar to Jackson, McCarney has gotten some good pub from the combine because of his physical attributes, but he looks like a 3rd stringer to me at best.