Aaaah, my second-round sleeper. Patterson isn't even on most mock drafts but I think he's going to find a role in the league. He's simply got one of the sweetest shooting strokes in the country and had a very productive season at PITT last year. If the Raptors don't grab him in the second-round, I'm hoping he shows up on the club's Summer League roster.
Toronto Raptors' 2014 NBA Draft Big Board
For just the fourth time in franchise history (excluding years where they didn't have a pick at all), the team will be selecting outside of the lottery. A 48-34 regular-season record got the Raptors into the NBA playoffs but out of contention for any of the top-tier talent in this years draft.
That doesn't mean that there aren't any gems to be had, though. The likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker won't be on Toronto's radar (barring a blockbuster trade), but in the bottom half of the first round, there will be several prospects that could end up being quality role players for a team looking to continue their rise in the Eastern Conference.
Striking gold in the second round could be tricky. Do the names Uros Slokar, Remon van de Hare, DeeAndre Hulett and Tyson Wheeler ring a bell? They're all former second-round picks who never amounted to anything in a Raptors uniform.
According to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, nearly one-third of the second-round picks made in the last 10 years (98 out of 300) have not played in the NBA. You'd think 90 of those botched picks would have come from the Raptors with the luck they've had.
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 48 in 2007), Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks (No. 47 in 2006) and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns (No. 45 in 2008) were all passed on in the opening round of their respective drafts. With the proper scouting and attention to detail, the Raptors could be fortunate enough to end their cold spell and snag a future All-Star of their own with one of their final two picks.
There isn't a sense of desperation on the part of GM Masai Ujiri to hit any one of his picks out of the park. He certainly doesn't want to waste them, but with the Raptors slowly moving in the right direction, all Ujiri needs to do is add complementary pieces to the young core he already has.
No. 20: Tyler Ennis, Syracuse, PG
Weight: 182 lbs.
Max Vertical: 36.0"
2013-14 statistics: 35.7 minutes, 12.9 points, 41.1 FG%, 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 2.1 steals, 0.2 blocks, 1.7 turnovers, 21.7 PER
The point guard position isn't a glaring need, but it could very well turn out to be should Kyle Lowry decide to walk in free agency.
Cue Tyler Ennis. It would be quite the surprise should he fall that far in the draft, but if that happens, the Raptors should jump at the opportunity and snatch him up. His potential as a floor general at the pro level is far too enticing to ignore.
Ujiri had nothing but kind words to say about Ennis during a predraft workout back in May, per TSN.ca:
Fantastic kid. Very straightforward. I was just talking about him with coach (Dwane) Casey, he'd just met him. Super kid. Very professional and carries himself the right way.
The mere fact that he was born north of the border (Brampton, Ontario) makes for a huge potential marketing ploy. The Raptors have never selected a Canadian talent out of the draft in the history of the franchise. A young Canadian prospect on Canada's team? That's music to my ears.
Ennis can score in bunches, but it's the efficiency in which he gets those points that he needs to improve on. Per Draft Express, Ennis's 14.2 possessions used per game and .889 points per possession overall both rank among the lowest of any guard in this draft.
If Lowry re-signs, head coach Dwane Casey can slowly develop Ennis off the bench rather than throw him to the wolves at the start of next season. This pick will rely heavily on what Lowry's future holds, though.
No. 20: Clint Capela, Switzerland, C
Weight: 222 lbs.
Max Vertical: N/A
2013-14 statistics (French): 22.0 minutes, 9.4 points, 63.2 FG%, 6.9 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals, 1.5 blocks, 1.5 turnovers
Something the Raptors don't currently have on their roster is a true rim protector. Jonas Valanciunas (6'11", 0.9 blocks) may reach that level in the near future, but not without more work on his defense around the basket.
Clint Capela, a native of Switzerland, has the physical tools to be the shot-blocker the Raptors need (4.2 blocks, 23rd in NBA) right out of the gate. He has a massive wingspan that will give opposing players plenty of headaches, as well as the leaping ability to soar up, grab rebounds and swat away shots.
He will need to add on a few more pounds as he squares off against some of the larger and bulkier big men around the NBA, though.
Capela is extremely raw and could use some seasoning before becoming a nightly option in that regard, but his natural gift for playing defense makes him someone to keep your eye on.
No. 20: K.J. McDaniels, Clemson, SF
Weight: 196 lbs.
Max Vertical: 37.0"
2013-14 statistics: 33.7 minutes, 17.1 points, 45.9 FG%, 7.1 rebounds, 1.6 assists, 1.1 steals, 2.8 blocks, 2.3 turnovers, 28.7 PER
K.J. McDaniels is what Raptors fans want Terrence Ross to be as a perimeter defender.
Named the 2014 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, McDaniels uses his long arms and high basketball IQ to wreak havoc away from the basket. Draft Express even has him pegged as the most athletic swingman in the draft "not named Andrew Wiggins."
Larry Brown, a former NBA head coach and current coach of Southern Methodist University, recently compared McDaniels to some of the elite wings around the league, per Aaron Brenner of the Post and Courier:
He reminds me of Paul George and Andre Iguodala, the kid (Kawhi) Leonard at San Antonio. (He’s) a human stat sheet. Guys that find ways to help your team win. He’s going to be playing at the next level doing the same thing.
McDaniels shot 57.9 percent from the charity stripe in his first year at Clemson, eventually raising that to 84.2 percent his junior season. With his knack for attacking the basket and getting to the free-throw line (5.1 attempts per game), you want him to be able to hit a few once in a while. No problem there.
A three-man unit of McDaniels, Ross and All-Star DeMar DeRozan would have to be considered one of the most athletically-gifted trios in the NBA. It's a rotation Casey can have some fun with.
No. 37: Patric Young, Florida, C
Weight: 247 lbs.
Wingspan: 7' 1.75"
Max Vertical: 37.5"
2013-14 statistics: 26.3 minutes, 11.0 points, 54.1 FG%, 6.2 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.6 steals, 1.1 blocks, 1.3 turnovers, 22.3 PER
Having spent four years at the University of Florida under Billy Donovan, Patric Young will bring a winning mentality and the maturity that (hopefully) comes with completing the full college experience with him as he embarks on this new journey.
Young is an enigma, wrapped in a puzzle, wrapped in a "Udonis Haslem meets Kenneth Faried" body. I hope you haven't been keeping your eyes on his draft stock all this time. It would make anyone dizzy.
NBA mock drafts have no idea where Young will end up going. Zach Harper of CBS Sports has him going No. 28 to the Los Angeles Clippers, while Gary Parrish of the same network has Young landing with the Washington Wizards 18 picks later at No. 46. It just goes to show how mixed the reviews are.
I don't see why that's the case. The fact that his numbers hovered around the same mark for his four-year tenure is a legitimate criticism, but Young was more or less a glue guy with a great competitive spirit. He didn't need remarkable stat sheets or epic scoring performances. He did the dirty work, and he did it well.
His upside is limited, but as a second-rounder, Young will be a bargain. He can have a long and serviceable NBA career by simply being an energy guy that crashes the glass, defends, sets picks and knows how to play the game the way it's meant to be played.
No. 37: Bogdan Bogdanovic, Serbia, SG
Weight: 200 lbs.
Wingspan: 6' 11.07"
Max Vertical: 35.8"
2013-14 statistics (Euro): 31.4 minutes, 14.8 points, 40.1 FG%, 3.7 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.6 steals, 0.2 blocks, 3.4 turnovers, 15.6 PER
It wouldn't be an NBA draft without the Raptors going after at least one European prospect, right?
If, for whatever reason, the team needed Bogdan Bogdanovic (how's that for a name?) to contribute right away, he probably could. His experience over in the Euroleague should make his transition to the NBA a tad smoother than some other rookies in the class.
There's still a chance he could stay overseas, which may turn off a few teams from drafting him. They'd need to buy him out.
Their loss. Bogdanovic is a tremendous perimeter shooter with outstanding mechanics that can light up a scoreboard in a hurry. He's shown a tendency to force his offense on occasion, though. With a lesser role, Bogdanovic will need to learn to allow his scoring to come to him more naturally, rather than force the issue to get into rhythm.
He'll also need to put more of an emphasis on his defense to avoid being one-dimensional. With a solid frame to work with, consistent defense is something he can easily learn.
No. 37: Jarnell Stokes, Tennessee, PF
Weight: 263 lbs.
Max Vertical: 36.0"
2013-14 statistics: 32.6 minutes, 15.0 points, 53.5 FG%, 10.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.7 steals, 0.9 blocks, 2.2 turnovers, 27.5 PER
During the regular season, the Raptors averaged just 42.5 rebounds a night, good enough for 17th in the NBA. It wasn't a glaring weakness, but it wasn't one of their strengths either.
Jarnell Stokes is a rebounding machine who can establish position, box out and go the extra mile to grab loose balls. He won't single-handedly make the Raptors a force on the glass, but he'll help.
The problem is his position. He's not big enough to play power forward, but he's also not mobile enough to guard small forwards either.
Stokes could fill the role of Tyler Hansbrough, who may be on the outs with the team. They both share similarities in their style of play, as well as their stature. Stokes could be the enforcer of the Raptors, coming off the pine to provide bursts of energy in small doses as he bangs down low and draws fouls.
He's not going to be pushed around, that's for sure.
Whether he has the basketball or not, when his back is to the basket, watch out.
No. 59: Jordan Bachynski, Arizona State, C
Weight: 254 lbs.
Max Vertical: 33.0"
2013-14 statistics: 30.9 minutes, 11.5 points, 54.5 FG%, 8.2 rebounds, 0.5 assists, 0.4 steals, 4.0 blocks, 1.5 turnovers, 22.1 PER
Do you miss Aaron Gray? If the Toronto Raptors draft Jordan Bachynski out of Arizona State, you won't have to anymore.
There aren't many true centers to choose from this year, so Bachynski should land himself a gig, albeit late in the second round.
The best-case scenario for his career would have him as a backup big who can dish out six fouls, protect the basket and hopefully knock down a few cutters through the lane in the process. Sound familiar?
You can't teach size, though. That's something Bachynski has going for him in a big (no pun intended) way. He could play behind Valanciunas and provide some insurance should the Raptors' starter find himself in early foul trouble (3.1 fouls per game during the regular season).
Did I mention that he's from Canada? He would be the first player from Calgary to ever play in the NBA should he get drafted.
No. 59: James Michael McAdoo, North Carolina, PF
Weight: 228 lbs
Max Vertical: 34.0"
2013-14 statistics: 30.1 minutes, 14.2 points, 45.8 FG%, 6.8 rebounds, 1.7 assists, 1.3 steals, 0.9 blocks, 1.4 turnovers
With the second-to-last pick in the draft, the Raptors can afford to take a flier on James McAdoo, a player whose stock has taken a considerable hit over the past few years.
McAdoo failed to make any significant strides from his sophomore to junior year with the North Carolina Tar Heels. After coming off the bench his freshman season, the 21-year-old was thrust into a larger role that he was unable to command.
If he lands in the right situation, he could surprise a lot of people. A spot on Toronto's Las Vegas Summer League squad would be a nice start.
His strong athleticism could help him compensate in some of his weaker areas, like his lack of a mid-ranger jumper. It may even allow him to play small forward, although his skill set is more tailored towards being at the 4 spot.
No. 59: Lamar Patterson, Pittsburgh, SG
Weight: 226 lbs.
Max Vertical: 32.5"
2013-14 statistics: 32.6 minutes, 17.1 points, 44.1 FG%, 4.9 rebounds, 4.3 assists, 1.4 steals, 0.3 blocks, 2.6 turnovers
It's time for a heavy-duty sleeper pick.
Adam Francis of Raptors HQ agrees with me:
Lamar Patterson proved he could score, pass and rebound at the collegiate level, but will he be able to carry over that same success to the NBA? I'll take those odds.
He's not the greatest athlete you've ever seen hit a basketball court, but he works hard and plays with a blue-collar attitude that Raptors fans will appreciate. You can never have too many guys who bust their tail to earn and validate their playing time.
A strong summer league run could land Patterson a Dwight Buycks or Julyan Stone-esque role with the Raptors. It's a foot in the door at the very least.
All statistics/player information and measurements are courtesy of Draft Express unless noted otherwise.
Christopher Walder is a freelance writer who has been published at Bleacher Report, SB Nation, FanSided, SI.com and several other online outlets. You can follow him on Twitter @WalderSports.
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