The Raptors have another developmental piece in the hopper after taking 6’5” Nevada guard Jalen Harris with the second-to-last pick in the draft.
There were sexier names on the board, in particular Gonzaga’s Killian Tillie, but Harris has some impressive senior year numbers behind him and, as you might expect from the Raptors, a long college career on the resumé.
Harris, 22, sat out the 2018-19 season after transferring to Nevada from Louisiana Tech following his sophomore year, but in his lone year playing for the Wolf Pack, he posted 21.7 points, 6.5 boards and 3.9 assists on 56.0 True Shooting while taking on an enormous offensive workload. Per Jay Bilas on the ESPN broadcast as I write this, he’s a dude who can score from all over the floor.
You never draft for need with the 59th pick. It’s usually always an upside play. But the choice of another guard here does raise an eyebrow for a couple reasons. First, the Raptors leave the draft without taking a big man, despite their two best bigs both entering free agency on Friday. Also, a bucket-hunting guard with multiple years of college seasoning would seem to have a little overlap with Terence Davis, whose future with the franchise is up-in-the-air following his domestic violence charge. The team’s roster construction should not have any bearing on how they approach Davis’ future — they already have enough cause to walk away from his unguaranteed contract, and if they actually want to back up the values they espouse, they will. Harris being around makes than an even easier decision than it already is.
As is always the case, the odds of the 59th pick yielding a player of note are low. But Harris has a college pedigree, similar to a lot of successful Raptors picks from recent years. Who doesn’t love a walking bucket?