With the unpredictability of the 2012 NBA Draft (outside of consensus No. 1 pick Anthony Davis), I figure there is a group of about 10 players that might be realistic options for the Raptors at No. 8, assuming Toronto still holds the No. 8 pick come Draft night.
Colangelo said pick is not being “shopped” but acknowledged he wanted to bring in a veteran and was open to trade.
— Chad Ford (@chadfordinsider) June 8, 2012
We’ll be rolling out our prospect profiles of these 10 players over the next couple of weeks, but for now, let’s take a look at some notes on the players after Thursday and Friday’s NBA Draft Combine. Between watching parts of the Combine on a surprisingly clear online feed and sifting through online reports and twitter timelines, here’s what I’ve come up with:
Dion Waiters – The biggest news to emerge from the Combine was that Syracuse guard Dion Waiters had cancelled all of his workouts, prompting the obvious speculation that a team had given him a guarantee they’d draft him if he was still on the board. The Raptors were one of a few teams rumoured to be the team that made the promise, but that report has since died down, with Jonathan Givony, who we all know from Draft Express, tweeting the Suns at No. 13 may have made the promise.
Harrison Barnes – While people’s opinion of Barnes’ combine performance itself seems mixed, most reports over the last couple of days state that the Cavaliers might not let the Tar Heel slip past No. 4, so my pipe-dream of him somehow falling to eighth is probably just that…a dream. Remember that in last week’s episode of RaptorBlog Radio, Givony mentioned that the Cavs have been high on Barnes since last year.
Damian Lillard – The guy I’ve been saying is the sleeper of this Draft for months was reportedly one of the most impressive prospects at the Combine. Reports indicate Lillard completed his drills in solid fashion and was one of the better interviews as well. Most impressive of all though, is that the 6-2 point guard measured a 40-inch vertical. The more I watch, the more I read, the more I study, the more I think Lillard is the guy I want. Unfortunately, like Barnes, I’m becoming increasingly worried that the Weber State product won’t be available at No. 8.
Perry Jones III – While it has to have been expected given his exceptional athleticism and NBA-ready body, Perry Jones III dazzled some people at the Combine. Unfortunately, the criticisms of Jones’ intangibles can’t really be dispelled during a Combine workout, so I’d be interested in knowing if we really learned anything new about the Baylor forward this week.
Jeremy Lamb – Lamb was one of a group of guards who didn’t take part in Combine drills. He apparently thinks top-five is a possibility. To me, Lamb is the guard’s equivalent of UCONN teammate Andre Drummond. While quite a few people think he is a strong option for Toronto at eight, I’ll be disappointed if that’s the result.
Moe Harkless – The St. John’s product is another one of those rising sleepers in this Draft, and according to Alex Kennedy of Hoops World, “Harkless helped himself on Thursday” by “shooting the ball extremely well .”
Terrence Jones – The most relevant news/reports about Jones to come out of the combine is that he will be in competition with Perry Jones III for Golden State’s selection at No. 7, just before the Raptors’ selection. The Joneses will go at it for the Warriors on Monday.
Other prospects to keep an eye on, and three that we will be previewing in the coming weeks along with the seven above, are Washington shooting guard Terrence Ross, Duke guard Austin Rivers and UNC point guard Kendall Marshall.