Toronto is taking a swing with the 23rd-overall pick in the NBA Draft, selecting Indiana forward OG Anunoby, according to the Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Anunoby turns 20 in a matter of days and is regarded as one of — if not the — best defensive prospects in this year’s draft class. He stands 6’8 with a nearly 7’3 wingspan. Some analysts had Anunoby firmly entrenched as one of the top-10 talents in the draft, making this a potentially excellent value for the Raptors.
Of course there’s always a reason behind a draft tumble for a tantalizing prospect. In the case of Anunoby, that reason is a torn ACL that held him to just 16 games in his sophomore season at Indiana.
Without access to his medical records, there’s really no way of telling how his rehab may be progressing, or what kind of long-term concerns may exist with the injured knee. Toronto’s front office would have definitely done extensive research before making a pick with so much inherent risk, so the best Raptors fans can do is trust that no glaring red flags with Anunoby’s health revealed themselves.
OG Anunoby says he is about 2 months ahead of schedule and should be full go by Sept/Oct.— Steve Kyler (@stevekylerNBA) June 23, 2017
Even if the Raptors hold Anunoby out for his entire rookie year as a precaution, the selection could still have a big picture payoff for Toronto if he realizes the potential most draft experts see in him. For that to happen, his offensive utility will have to catch up to the heights his defense might already be at. Over two college seasons, Anunoby shot a good-not-great 36.5 percent from deep and dished just 0.8 assists over 50 games as a Hoosier. He’s shown little in the way of creativity with the ball in his hands.
Update: Aside from dunking the crap out of the ball.
OG Anunoby can get up man. Exhibit A: https://t.co/88AsXEU5RQ— Mitch Robson (@_mitchrobson) June 23, 2017
Defense will be his calling card, especially early in his career, and his multi-positional prowess on that end should at least guarantee him a place in the NBA. If the offensive refinement does come, Raptors fans are going to adore this pick.
What do you think of the Anunoby selection?