To start, I’ll say that you can find Scott’s immediate reaction to the selection of Terrence Ross here, you can listen to a Draft night podcast with Scott, Oliver Macklem and I here, and you can find my Prospect Profile of Terrence Ross from a few weeks back here.

Now let’s get into my take on Draft night 2012 for the Toronto Raptors.

- First off, I can’t express how disappointed I was in the fact that Harrison Barnes, Damian Lillard and Dion Waiters were all selected in the top-seven. I won’t say I was all that surprised, but I was certainly disappointed. I would have been real happy with one of Waiters or Lillard, but the thought of Barnes falling to us, which I’ve been stressing since Lottery night would be the best-case scenario for me, was tantalizing. The most heart-breaking part was seeing Barnes go No. 7, meaning the Raptors lost the chance to draft a potential star on a coin flip. A coin flip. Even worse, the Warriors put on an epic tanking display to finish the season, and the Basketball Gods rewarded them for it. Also, if you want more reason to dislike Andre Drummond, think of it this way: If Drummond had a more reputable work ethic and inclination to get better, he probably goes top-seven, and Barnes falls to Toronto.

- In Terrence Ross, the Raptors get a player who can shoot, rebound and defend well at the wing positions. He’s a good athlete, he gets after it on the floor and all indications are that he’s the kind of young player that truly strives to get better. Do I think the Raptors landed a potential superstar? Absolutely not. Do I think the Raptors landed a potential All Star? Probably not, but I wouldn’t rule it out completely. Do I think the Raptors landed a solid young prospect who can be a contributing piece for many years? Yes.

In terms of fans clamoring for someone else or just generally complaining about the pick, think about the 10 guys I profiled for RaptorBlog, plus Drummond and Barnes.

Waiters, Lillard and Barnes were off the board. Drummond is probably going to be a frustrating “project.” Besides Ross, that left Austin Rivers, Jeremy Lamb, Kendall Marshall, Terrence Jones, Perry Jones III, Moe Harkless and John Henson. Can you really tell me that you’re so sure one or any of those guys is going to be a better NBA player than Terrence Ross? No, you can’t, and neither can I, which is why I find it hilarious that people are complaining about passing up on a guy like Rivers as if the Raps just passed on a surefire superstar. Maybe one of those guys will blow Terrence Ross away, but I’m not convinced there is enough separation within that group of players to be too upset or too excited one way or another.

- One argument that makes sense is that if the Raptors were going to draft Ross, who would likely be available outside the top-10, why not trade down in the Draft to get an established player and a later Lottery pick. Could the Raptors have put together a package that included the No. 8 pick to Houston (who reportedly had their eyes on Drummond) in exchange for one of the Rockets’ later picks and point guard Kyle Lowry? Probably not. Here’s the thing, you get the feeling Bryan Colangelo is going to leave no stone unturned in his attempt to better this team this Summer, so do you honestly believe these things weren’t considered? If the Raps didn’t move down, it’s probably because Colangelo and co. didn’t think it was worth it, not because you know more about the ins and outs of NBA management than they do, okay?

- The fan-reaction at the Season Seat Holder Draft Party (which was much more casual than last year, as in hot dogs and hamburgers at Maple Leaf Square instead of gourmet food inside Real Sports) was actually kind of interesting. There was a noticeable buzz when Waiters went No. 4. There was nervousness went Lillard went No. 6. There was obvious deflation and face-palms when Barnes went No. 7 (again…coin flip!). In the minutes leading up to Toronto’s selection, people around me yelled things like “Not Drummond” and booed camera shots of Austin Rivers while chanting “overrated.” One guy behind me actually shouted “Come on, Terrence Ross,” though I assume that’s because he saw on twitter that Ross was about to be chosen.

- Toronto may be the Centre Of The Universe, but the NBA Draft actually continued past No. 8, and the Raptors made a couple more selections in the second round. Baylor’s Quincy Acy is the definition of a “workhorse” who will never be out-hustled. I admire his work ethic and his abundance of energy and think he is tailor-made to be a solid bench contributor. However, many, including myself, feel that Acy’s teammate Quincy Miller was actually the best player available at the time, and ESPN’s John Hollinger was among the most perplexed.

While I respect Hollinger’s NBA opinion and his plethora of interesting stats, and thought the tweet was funny, I’m not quite sure how much of a Draft guy he is.  For example, he also tweeted that Ross was 27th on his board, which seems a little ridiculous considering most mocks and draft sites pegged him between 10 and 20.

With their 56th pick, the Raptors shunned names like Machado, Jones, Buford, Sims, Green and Aldemir to go with Croatian forward Tomislav Zubcic. I won’t pretend to know anything about this man, but ESPN’s Chad Ford wrote that “Zubcic is a long point-forward who can shoot the 3 and bring the ball up the floor. He needs to get stronger and he hasn’t produced yet at the highest level, but he’s a big upside pick for the Raptors.” In all honesty, I’ll be surprised if we ever see him on the Air Canada Centre court, but if you watched the second round of the Draft, you’d see that the Raptors weren’t the only team to go Euro.

- From all the post-Draft interview footage I watched of Terrence Ross, Dwane Casey and Bryan Colangelo, a few things stood out. First, Casey mentioning that he’s actually watched Ross since the lockout, when he viewed a University of Washington practice. Secondly, Bryan Colangelo mentioning that Ross could push DeMar DeRozan in practice. Heading into his fourth season, DeRozan will not be protected and given the benefit of the doubt for much longer. He’s shown signs of becoming a very good NBA shooting guard, but has also shown signs of major inconsistency. I will be very interested to see both how Ross’ presence affects and hopefully motivates DeRozan, as well as how the two youngsters work together.

I liked Ross’ response to what Raptors fans can expect in the coming years: “highlights.” Hey, maybe he’s got some of that Austin Rivers swag after all.

- Ross and Acy met the T.O. media for the first time on Friday. With that, focus immediately shifts to Free Agency and the official off-season. If you’re wondering about Steve Nash these days, there’s this:

And then there’s this:

Comments (35)

  1. I really really really hope we don’t go after Nash. He is a terrible option going forward and he wont suddenly make us a contender. There is zero reason to bring him here other than to sell seats.

    • Totally disagree. For one things, 3 years of playing with Nash, one of the two best pick and roll PGs ever (along with Stockton), would be the best possible intro to the NBA for Jonas V, whose strength should be diving to the basket on pick and rolls. Look what Nash did with Gortat. Nash-Jonas could be a monster combo. Plus it will allow us to figure out once and for all what we have with Bayless – if he can’t learn to run a team behind Nash, we’ll know we need something more in the long term.

      • For 3 years. That’s the problem. What do you do after those 3 years, given Nash’s body even holds up that long? The LAST thing you would want is for young players to become too reliant on team mates creating for them, which seems like some Raptors players have already grown accustomed to with Calderon.

        Second, how would it allow us to figure out what we have in Bayless if he wouldn’t even be starting? The only way to figure out what we have in a player is actually playing him. And the Raptors have already made that mistake by playing him behind Calderon for the past two seasons.

        • Even with Nash this is in no way a playoff team

          • Have you seen some of the garbage that have been playoff teams in the East recently?

            With Nash the Raptors could be a playoff team, but they’re not going anywhere once they get there.

  2. Umm, it wasn’t clear if this article was an opine of the authour. But thanks for clearing it up here:

    “First off, _I_ can’t express how disappointed _I_ was in the fact that Harrison Barnes, Damian Lillard and Dion Waiters were all selected in the top-seven. _I_ won’t say _I_ was all that surprised, but _I_ was certainly disappointed. _I_ would have been real happy with one of Waiters or Lillard, but the thought of Barnes falling to us, which _I’ve_ been stressing since Lottery night would be the best-case scenario for _me_, was tantalizing.”

  3. Honestly, I used to watch 50+ raps game a season but eventually I gave up in favor of watching the league in general. Can’t be bothered with this sad sack of a franchise.

    Was hoping this draft would give me some hope and a reason to tune in again, but after seeing the results I doubt it.

  4. “If the Raps didn’t move down, it’s probably because Colangelo and co. didn’t think it was worth it, not because you know more about the ins and outs of NBA management than they do, okay?”

    Give me a break. This is the type of strawman, deferential shit I expect Doug Smith to write.

    Nobody sane and/or over the age of 12 thinks they know more about the ins and outs of NBA management than Colangelo and company. It doesn’t mean we have to refrain from criticizing or questioning them, especially given BC’s track record. Whether the brass thought it wasn’t worth trading down doesn’t necessarily mean they made the right decision, and that’s all anyone is questioning (i.e. did they overvalue Ross, did they overvalue some existing players by refusing potential trades, are they wrongly focusing on Nash too much when Drummond would have yielded more value long-term etc.). Short of knowing specifics, all we’re left with is speculation and BC has done more than enough to earn every single shred of doubt thrown his way.

    • Nothing wrong with criticizing them at all. I do it often. But I find it hilarious that some people get so worked up about not trading down, etc, as if they “know” for certain that Colangelo and co. had this great offer on the table that they turned down.

  5. Look, taking Ross wasn’t a bad pick. I was actually very relieved that they didn’t go after Rivers or Lamb because they are way too over rated, and not the type of players you would want to build a team around.

    But the fact they they passed on Drummond really frustrates me. For anyone saying that Drummond will be a bust, so what? When you are in the position that the Raptors are in, you draft for potential, not for positional need. Drummond’s potential is far beyond what anyone else in the draft is, besisdes Anthony Davis. It’s also hardly even a gamble at all either at 8th, considering that he was supposed to go a few picks higher.

    If this pick was truly made around Brian Colangelo’s plan of building around Steve Nash, please, fire him now before it’s too late.

  6. toronto’s gonna be bottom five next year for sure. outside of phoenix, sacremento, charlotte and brooklyn i can’t see anyone else having a worse roster.

    • It’s not as if Toronto is going to get worse with the pick. Ross IS going to help and Valanciunas will hopefully be over next season, so without Nash or any other major upgrade, I see them as a 35-ish win team. Not bad but not good, either. And without a true star, not much hope of ever becoming good.

  7. Why didn’t we trade for lowry and now we are waiting for nash who might not even come. Also I would traded down, since many of the expects did not expect him to go this high. We could had gotten lowry and ross.

    • I highly doubt that the Raptors could have received Houston’s No. 12 pick in addition to Lowry in any trade. If they turned down an offer for Lowry and the No. 12 pick without having to give up Valanciunas and maybe DeMar, I’d be pretty pissed. But again, I highly doubt they had that chance.

  8. As someone who immediately loved the pick last year, and has been mostly supportive of Colangelo, I’m not one of those knee jerk guys who rails without reason. I will say that I like Ross and had him on my list of sleepers that Raptors might want to look at if they were able to grab a second first round pick.

    That said, I thought the Raptors did poorly in the draft. I think they should have offered up the farm to move up and I have a feeling Colangelo didn’t want to part with the necessary assets. Plus, while Drummond would be a project, why should that be a deterrent? The idea is for the Raptors to be the best they can five year from now, now in a year or two. WHat the Raptors needed to do is draft the player with the most upside, not a guy who fills a “need” (their needs were pretty much everything) and is a safe pick.

    As for Acy yes, he’s a hustle player, but he’s also not a very good defensive player or rebounder. Plus he’s undersized. There were most definitely better options drafted behind him. Even if you don’t like Quincy Miller, Will Barton, Deron Lamb, Tyshon Taylor and Darius Miller would all have been much better options.

    This is the draft that makes Colangelo lose my support.

    • Tim, I’m disappointed in the Draft overall. Like I said, I’m not really disappointed in any one the Raptors “passed on” with the No. 8 pick, but Acy over Quincy Miller puzzled me.

      • Quincy Miller is still recovering from his ACL injury. His combine showing (among other possible workouts) was horrible. He’s very much all potential and nothing more at this point.

    • Let me ask you this: Would you give Rob Babcock a second chance?

  9. I am surprised Raps didn’t take a chance on Machado with their last pick. Hell, I wouldn’t have been mad at them using their 37th on him.

    Acy reminds me too much of PJ Tucker, different positions I know, but hard working athletic guy who is undersized for his position. Pretty blah pick. Raps have to be the only team who would have taken Acy over MIller iMO

    What do you guys think of OJ Mayo not getting his tender? Unrestricted now – do Raps make a play for him?

    • Mayo’s definitely an interesting option that I thought about today, too. I doubt the Raptors are the team to scoop him up, but like I said, I think B.C. will explore everything this summer. He has to, considering that he’s technically on a one-year deal until his option gets picked up.

  10. For my part what I disliked most is that when we all saw thst PJ3 was still available in the late first round to make a move to get him. I doubt this move would have been that expensive.

    If we talk about Drummond in his potential like BP said, lets not forget how great the potential to become a star PJ3 has. If the raps would have ended their night with Ross and Jones III I would have been happy. Remember this guy was viewed as a possible top 10, at worst top 15 pick… oh well.

    • *that raps didnt make a move to get him* typos from typing this on my iphone in a moving bus.

    • I would have liked to see them pick up SOMEONE with a lot of upside, whether it be Drummond, PJ or Quincy Miller in the second round. It boggles my mind that Colangelo thought this was a draft to play it safe.

      I think PJ is in the perfect situation in Oklahoma. And he’ll help them a lot.

    • You bring up a valid point Hakoon. If by 20 PJ3 is still available, I don’t see any reason why they shouldn’t try and trade both their 2nd rounders with say, Calderon to get him.

      If the Raptors had come out with Drummond AND PJ3, they may have legitimately had something to build around, and I would have been pretty happy.

      • Apparently the Lakers tried to trade for a pick to grab PJ and were unsuccessful. That said, it would be nice if they had done it.

        And, yes, drafting both Drummond and PJ would have increased their chances of finding a diamond in the rough.

  11. They lost the chance to draft Barnes on an ‘ego trip’ not on a ‘coin flip’.

    We had a lock on the 5th pick when we started shutting players down, but Casey just could not try to tank any games at all.

    Good from a character perspective I suppose, but NOT what this team needed. BC should have insisted on a better tank. He should have insisted that we lose the second game of the season to Cleveland.

    • “… but Casey just could not try to tank any games at all”.

      You’re right, Jojo. I’m with you. I really think it’s on Casey’s ego.
      And now, all the months passed with us waiting for something to come, are to be viewed in a definitive perspective: LOST.

  12. I’d been screaming to let Drummond slide past us for weeks leading up to the draft, but I was doing this because I expected Lillard or Waiters (or both before Sullinger’s problems) to be available.

    Once they were gone, and BC’s turn rolled around, I was really hoping he would pick Drummond. Was really pissed about it for a while after. But now, not so much.

    As for Hollinger thinking we got the wrong Quincy, WTF? I thought Hollinger was a stats guy. A pure moneyball guy. Acy was ranked twice as high as Miller if you go by the usual moneyball stats. Here is an example.
    http://wagesofwins.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012-Draft-Model3.png

    But WHY OH WHY didn’t we (or anyone else) pick up Scott Machado? Check out his ranking as well.

  13. To those who never saw or scouted Ross. Seriously you missed this guy! Some say Beal is the best shooter out of this draft? Hardly, ROSS is the man. Creates shots, hits high percentage of FT’s, nails the three with deep NBA range. Silky smooth player that gets lost in translation by the opposition. Plays like a ghost and ends up busting your ass when the stat line closes at the end of the game. Immensely talented shooting guard with serious hops. Plays a very tough in your face defense and has the ability to go to the rim and dunk on you. Why then did he not do it consistently with the Huskies? The Huskies had no PF or Center that could score on you in the paint. Ross constantly was double teamed and still got to the rim. Steal of the draft? Toronto, you’re in for a big surprise. Keep telling yourself you wanted Barnes, Waiters, Gilcrest, blah, blah, blah. When the season starts you’ll finally understand how great of a pick Ross was. Can’t wait for the clowns on ESPN to start giving excuses as to why they didn’t see ROSS ending up as the NBA rookie of the year!

  14. Watched a few summer league games. The Raptors have no PG. Forwards are pathetic at best. Tell me again why aren’t coaches helping them to make the team. None of the bigs knows how to block out, set screens or get into position for rebounds. I hope this isn’t the best that the Raptors can field. Meanwhile, Ross looks smooth and will only get better. He desperately needs a PG and a big that can do the above.

  15. Actually, Aldemir was the 54th pick, so he wasn’t available at pick 56. Just stating that as a fact.

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