Yesterday the Toronto Raptors had their eighth workout in preparation for the upcoming 2014 NBA Draft.
As noted in yesterday's article, the club has now seen approximately 33 per cent of DraftExpress.com's "available" top 100 prospects and still has at least two more workouts to go so that number surely will increase.
And yet there's still more to do. Although the club won't get a look at guys like Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker (hence, "available" top 100), here are a few more prospects we're hoping to see Toronto bring in before draft day.
1) Rodney Hood: We'll start a little out of Toronto's league perhaps but as some mock drafts still have Hood falling to the Raptors' range, he gets a shot here. As a wing who I feel will be a great floor-spacer and solid defender (at worst I think he'll be a Danny Green type) at the next level, I'd be thrilled to see him land in Toronto's lap. And not just because he's a Duke alum.
2) Adreian Payne: Like Hood, Payne may be long gone before Toronto picks but we can hope right? I think Payne is being underrated right now and will be an impact player at the next level. His upside? A better defensive version of Patrick Patterson.
3) T.J. Warren: Warren was supposed to work out for Toronto a couple weeks ago but didn't end up making the trip. I haven't heard any reason why, so I expect he'll be part of one of next week's sessions.
4) Elfrid Payton: Like Payne and Hood, I think Payton will be off the board when the Raptors make their selection but I'd love to see him get into the ACC for some run. Game footage is key, but sometimes seeing a player in person also gives some solid prospective, especially matched up with similar players. The best example of this was seeing Eric Bledsoe work out against Avery Bradley and others a few years back. The word at that time was the Raptors were interested in drafting Bradley, and he had all the hype, but up close, you could see just how physically dominant Bledsoe was. To that end, I bet another media member that Bledsoe would have the better rookie season. I won, but yep, still waiting for payment...
5) James Young: Young's stock appears to be all over the place right now. Some sites have him as a lottery pick, others, falling to later in the first round. I'm still not sure how I feel about him as a prospect but he's one of the youngest players in this draft and worth a look up close on potential alone.
6) Shabazz Napier: Is he the next Juan Dixon? He's a proven winner at the college level and should be able to make some sort of impact in the NBA. Let's get him in for a look.
7) Jarnell Stokes: For some reason Tennessee is one of my favourite teams to watch every season. It probably hails from the Tyler Smith-Scotty Hopson-Wayne Chism years but extends to this day. As a result, I watched a lot of Mr. Stokes as a college player and think he'd be a nice second-round find for a team. He's not as polished as DeJuan Blair was at PITT, but I can see Stokes having a similar impact at the next level.
8) Jordan Adams: Adams keeps popping up on most top draft lists when only advanced stats is involved. I get it to a certain degree considering his college play, but love to see him up close as well.
9) Jusuf Nurkic: I honestly know noting about Nurkic other than the various draft write-ups he's featured in, but he's one of the biggest bodies in this draft and potentially a nice back-up to Jonas Valanciunas down the road.
10) Lamar Patterson: Aaaah, my second-round sleeper. Patterson isn't even on most mock drafts but I think he's going to find a role in the league. He's simply got one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the country and had a very productive season at PITT last year. If the Raptors don't grab him in the second-round, I'm hoping he shows up on the club's Summer League roster.