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NBA Draft Watch: Reviewing potential second round prospects for Toronto

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In this week’s summary, we’re looking at second round picks. Many prospects have apparently already been interviewed with half the NBA’s teams. Could the Raptors be one of them?

Charlotte Hornets v Toronto Raptors Photo by Anatoliy Cherkasov/NurPhoto via Getty Images

We’ve concentrated on the Toronto Raptors’ first round pick for the past couple of weeks, so today we’re dedicating the space this week to the team’s projected 58th pick in the second round. The last time the Raptors picked 58th, they landed Uros Slokar, the supposed Slovenian Toni Kukoc. Tough act to follow, but the Raptors should have plenty of good options at this range should they decide to use this pick.

Historically, the odds are against the 58th pick producing a rotation player. Abdel Nader might be the best prospect picked at this spot (by the Boston Celtics), and he’s barely carved out an NBA career so far. On the flip side, many undrafted players managed to crack an NBA roster, so the cupboard can’t be considered empty at this point. The current pandemic also screwed up a lot of talent evaluations that would typically happen between March Madness and the usual timing of the draft, so the opportunity may be there for a steal.

The Raptors are good at mining talent outside of the usual top 60 projections. Dewan Hernandez, the 59th last year was almost non-existent on most draft sites’ top 100 big board. Prior to March Madness, most mock sites did not have Terence Davis projected to be picked, and yet here the Raptors are with another undrafted gem. Can Toronto continue mining diamonds in the rough?

Before we continue, a quick disclaimer: These prospects (or their representatives) did not explicitly say that they interviewed with the Raptors. However, they’ve implied that they interviewed for at least half of the teams in the league. I’ll do a deeper dive once we have some kind of confirmation that these prospects got interviewed by the Raptors.

The Prospects

Sandro Mamukelashvili, PF - Junior (Seton Hall), 21 years old

Mamukelashvili is a lefty power forward with a nice touch from the perimeter. He’s got legit NBA range, and it looks like he can do a lot of things offensively, whether it’s scoring in various ways on or off the ball, or his passing (though that part needs work).

NBADraft.Net’s got him at 71 on their big board, and he’s outside of all the other big boards. Adam Zagoria reported that “Mamu” interviewed with close to 20 teams via Zoom. Could the Raptors be one of them?

It would be interesting to see Mamukelashvili’s official measurements, as he looks shorter than what draft sites list him to be (6’10”/6’11”). He fits the late-in-the-game/late bloomers narrative, and the trajectory of his development is going upward. A floor-spacing big that can develop to do a lot of things offensively, Mamu could be a consideration for the 58th pick in Toronto.

Steven Enoch, PF/C - Senior (Louisville), 22 years old

Steven Enoch is an old school big that likes to bang in the post but possesses a nice touch around the basket. He’s patient down low, and does a good job spinning left or right. It’s also clear he can finish the turn with a hook shot using either hand.

Enoch’s game could potentially develop into a Mo Speights-type of pick-and-pop/pick-and-roll player. The shooting touch is there, and his perimeter shot is developing. He’s another one of those prospects where I’m curious to see what their official measurements would look like, as his wingspan has to be a huge plus.

Enoch’s draft stock takes a hit for a couple of factors: He’ll be 23 years old by the time the next season starts. Another is that he’s probably best suited as a small-ball centre that can space the floor, but he doesn’t offer that much rim protection. At times, he looks like Jonas Valanciunas when he’s switched to guarding smaller guards.

Enoch interviewed with 23 teams, and it’s hard to imagine the Raptors not being one of them. NBADraft.Net’s got him at 73rd on their top 100 list, but other than that, he’s well outside of most mock draft’s big boards. He could be an interesting project for the Raptors 905 to see how far they can take his development.

Jay Scrubb, SG - Sophomore (JuCo), 19 years old

Scrubb is a shifty athletic scorer, capable of getting buckets from anywhere on the floor. He’s accustomed to having the ball in his hands all the time, and has shown the ability to get his own shot at will — whether he’s guarded in the perimeter or navigating through the crown in the paint. He’s only 19 years old, and his skills, bounce, and physical tools should have him higher on the mock drafts.

Unfortunately, Scrubb’s stock takes a hit primarily because he’s playing against lesser competition. In my opinion this is not an entirely fair assessment. Someone like Aleksej Pokusevski is playing against perhaps even more inferior than Scrubb’s opponents, yet he might sneak into the late-lottery range. It’s clear that Scrubb is head and shoulders above his competition, so it’s still a mystery as to what he can do against a higher level of competition.

Jay Scrubb’s Various Mock Draft Projections

The Raptors won’t shy away from players from a junior college program. In that spirit, Scrubb appears to be staying in the draft, despite not ranking high in most mock draft sites. Maybe he’s got a promise in the second round? Adam Zagoria previously reported that Scrubb interviewed with more than 20 teams.

Could the Raptors be one of them? Scrubb could be a low-risk/high-reward gamble for Toronto at 58th. My gut feeling, however, is that he’ll be gone before the Raptors make their second-round pick.

Desmond Bane, SG - Senior (TCU), 22 years old

Bane has one of the most boring highlight reels you can find. Footage of his game is mostly threes, looking effortless — and, in true highlight fashion, they all end up with a swish. A short and stocky shooting guard, at times Bane looks like Eric Gordon with a physique similar to that of Eric Bledsoe.

Bane wrapped up his collegiate career, shooting 43.3 percent overall from three on a high volume attempts. He is strong and physical, but he lacks the athleticism to play above the rim and the explosiveness to get by his defender.

Desmond Bane’s Mock Draft Projections as of July 20, 2020

According to Jonathan Givony, Bane interviewed with 21 teams. As you can see above, he is a person of interest for the Raptors’ 28th pick. His shooting is in demand in the NBA, and it looks like he can be a switchable defender based on his IQ and strength. As with Fred VanVleet, the Raptors don’t mind picking up an older prospect and look past the below-average wingspan.

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The NCAA set its own deadline for collegiate players to withdraw from the draft: August 3, 2020. Several players projected to be in the second round have withdrawn, and more might come within the next few days. We’ll look further into the 58th pick projections once we have the updated mocks after this deadline.