With the 29th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors have selected Malachi Flynn.
The 22-year-old guard out of San Diego State is listed at 6’1” and 185 pounds. In his last year in college, Flynn put up averages of 17.6 points, 5.1 assists, and 4.5 rebounds in 33.4 minutes per game across 32 appearances. In the process, Flynn posted .44/.37/.86 shooting splits from the field, three-point line (on 6.4 attempts per game), and the charity stripe. While Flynn is, yes, another undersized guard in Toronto, he’s also considered one of the better pick-and-roll players in this year’s draft class — and yet another heady competitor.
But don’t take my word for it, here’s what Raptors GM Bobby Webster had to say about Toronto’s Flynn pick:
Webster on Flynn: "He's a modern NBA point guard. He can do it all on the offensive end... and obviously defends at a high level. He's a guy we really like and think can come in and play a little bit for us but also will continue to develop under the leadership of Kyle and Fred"— Josh Lewenberg (@JLew1050) November 19, 2020
Do you want to see some Flynn highlights? Sure, let’s get into some highlights.
How Flynn fits in for the Raptors of 2020-21 is obvious. They’ve got two point guards on the roster right now: the almost 35-year-old legend Kyle Lowry, who’s under contract for one more season, and almost 27-year-old Fred VanVleet, who is a free agent at this very moment. While there are needs elsewhere on the roster (e.g. at centre), it makes sense, given the value placed on the point guard position, to start developing a succession plan.
In that spirit, the move here from the Raptors is to get a point guard in their development system to combine with some of the other younger projects/players they’ve got on the roster (Paul Watson, Terence Davis [for now], Dewan Hernandez, OG Anunoby, Pascal Siakam, etc.) as their roster slowly turns over. Flynn definitely fits the bill there. While it makes sense to have Lowry lead them for now, and for VanVleet to take over from there, decisions involving those two players may not be Toronto’s to make in the long term.
In all, it sounds like the Raptors got another strong leader type, a player who knows how to organize a team, play with the ball in his hands, and is able to make decisions from that position. As has been said about this entire 2020 Draft class, Flynn may never turn into an All-Star-calibre player, but it certainly sounds like he can be a fixture in the Raptors’ rotation — whether VanVleet re-signs or not.
Welcome to Toronto, Malachi.
For more: here’s our previous look at Flynn from earlier this month.
Meanwhile, check SB Nation here for the live tracker on all of the first round (and counting) picks — with a grade for each one.