As an avid watcher of college basketball, it's always fascinating as well as entertaining to see which players the Raptors have at least some interest in when the prospects are brought in for a pre-draft workout at the ACC.
On Wednesday morning the Raptors worked out six players:
Raptors pre-draft workouts for today: G-Rashad Vaughn G-Norman Powell F-Duje Dukan F-Christian Wood F-Darion Atkins F-Michale Kyser— Kevin Rashidi (@KevinRashidi) June 10, 2015
The most notable were the two players currently projected to be taken in the DraftExpress 2015 Mock Draft, one being UCLA slashing shooting guard Norman Powell (projected at #53) and UNLV scoring shooting guard of their own, Rashad Vaughn (projected at #21).
Powell didn't really break out at UCLA until this season, as in previous years his productivity was blocked by the likes of current pros Larry Drew, Jordan Adams, Kyle Anderson and high flyer Zach LaVine. Although he played as a volume shooter this past season, averaging 16.4 points per game while shooting 45 percent from the floor, he's proven that he can be efficient if enough talent surrounds him. He shot 53 percent from the floor in the previous season when playing alongside Anderson and LaVine.
In his media availability, Powell was very well spoken and said all the right things that fans, coaches and front office staff like to hear. Powell talked about his laid back and well behaved personality off the court, as well as his determination and a competitive drive that fuels him to work and get better every day.
Vaughn is sitting around the mid 20's in most mock drafts, so it could be very likely the Raptors seriously consider him when they are on the clock at the 20th spot. Although he played for an underwhelming UNLV squad this season, Vaughn put together a very decent season in his only year of college basketball, that compares very similarly to DeMar DeRozan's freshman season at USC. Although not as good a shooter percentage-wise, the rest of the totals are all extremely similar and as you can see from his highlight tape, the attack and slash game mimics that of a young DeRozan:
Vaughn was paired with his Runnin' Rebel teammate Christian Wood during his media availability, so while we didn't get the individual insight Powell provided, the two young men provided some funny moments while talking about each others game's:
The Raptors will hold one more pre-draft workout this Saturday. Who would you like to see the team bring in and workout prior to the Draft?