As the story goes, the Toronto Raptors reportedly had two targets with their 20th overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft. Both ended up being selected prior to the Raptors' pick, so Masai Ujiri and co. went with their next option, the completely unknown Bruno Caboclo.
Their first option was of course Tyler Ennis, the Canadian point guard who was coming off a terrific season at Syracuse. The other option was reportedly Michigan State swingman Gary Harris. Yes, the same Harris who dropped 30 points last night on the Raptors, helping his Denver Nuggets blow by the Dinos by a score of 110 to 82 in Summer League play.
It was only one game, but Harris' play last night only reinforced my belief that he'd been selected too low, and would be a very nice player in the NBA. He's not the biggest guy, but he can defend, he can shoot it from long-range (he was 5 of 10 from three-point land), and most importantly, he's already very good at moving without the basketball. As a result, a number of his baskets yesterday came on plays where Toronto's defence just simply lost him in coverages, and suddenly it was too late. In many ways, Harris reminds me a lot of Bradley Beal and if he can be even close to that sort of player for Denver, the Nuggets are going to be very happy with their 2014 draft performance.
For the Raptors, this was unfortunately the kind of performance I expected out of their roster. The squad is a real collection of extremely raw players with little NBA experience, not something that usually translates into Summer League success. Usually the best Summer League teams are those from bad NBA teams the previous season, as the Summer squads are packed with draft talent that dominates at the Summer League level, but isn't ready to make an impact yet in the NBA. (DeMar DeRozan's 2010-11 Vegas squad that went 5 - 0 comes to mind. It featured the likes of Sonny Weems, Ed Davis, Joey Dorsey and Ronald Dupree.) Denver's group fits this description to a certain extent as Erick Green and Quincy Miller were with the Nuggets last year. The duo combined for another 40 of Denver's points.
It wasn't all bad for Toronto though. BRUNO again looked like he belonged at least in Summer League competition, showing off a few nice moves although continuing to force far too many long-range shots. (He hit only 1 of 6.) And Dwight Buycks bullied his way to the basket a number of times, finishing with a team-high 21 points to go with 4 rebounds and 4 assists.
DeAndre Daniels had another solid outing with 12 points and 5 rebounds, and John Shurna again showed that he can shoot it, although he wasn't nearly as proficient as Friday night versus the Lakers.
The rest of the group? Ugh. Myck Kabongo tried to force things all night, "BeBe" was fairly invisible down low, and there really wasn't anyone else who stood out in this one.
The Dinos' Vegas record now stands at 1 and 1, and they'll look to get back in the win column tomorrow in a match versus the Dallas Mavericks.