Join Date: Dec 2007
Raptors HQ Draft Board
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updated Draft Board (As of March 27, 2011)
1) Anthony Davis, F, Kentucky. If the Raps land the top pick, the only choice is the "Uni-Blocker." He may not be a Kevin Durant game-changer but he looks destined to be an All-Star for years. 6-10 guys with 7-4 wingspans who consistently outwork opponents don't grow on trees. Add in his underrated face-up offensive game and of course, his ridiculous shot-blocking abilities and his addition to the Toronto Raptors, along with Jonas Valanciunas, would likely make coach Dwane Casey the happiest man in the world.
2) Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, F, Kentucky. MKG actually addresses a bigger need for Toronto than Davis, as he's a true NBA 3 who can even play some 4. He's got an NBA body and a very well-rounded set of skills at both ends of the court that should mean he's able to contribute right away. The knock on him is his offensive game but I think that's a bit overstated. He was 7 of 10 against Baylor yesterday, dominated Indiana offensively, and is a complete terror on the fast break. Oh, and did we mention he's one of the best defenders in college and has a motor that never stops? There might be some concerns about him replicating what James Johnson does but in my books, MKG has a much higher upside and dare I say it, could end up being a Paul Pierce type at the next level.
3) Bradley Beal, G, Florida. Beal's Gators collapsed down the stretch against Rick Pitino's Cardinals on Saturday night but that was due to point guard Erving Walker's shot-selection and decision making than anything Beal did. Beal didn't dominate the game, and did make some miscues late, but he looks like a stud at the next level thanks to his scoring and rebounding ability at the 2 spot. The knock on Beal is that at 6-3 he's undersized for the 2 spot but I'm not too concerned. First of all, he's got great length and an NBA frame despite his diminutive stature and second, he told SB Nation's Seth Pollack on the weekend that he had grown and was closer to 6-5 now. We'll see come combine time but for a Raptors' club desperately searching for a consistent option at the 2, Beal looks like the pick of the litter.
4) Thomas Robinson, F, Kansas. Robinson, likely a power forward at the next level, doesn't fit a positional need for Toronto. But in some ways, who cares. The Raptors simply need more talent and Robinson is one of the most talented players in the NCAA currently. Somewhat similar to Derrick Williams last season for Arizona, Robinson is a late-blooming 4 who can dominate inside and out. He's not without some flaws (is he too small to be a 4 in the NBA? is he talented enough to be a starter on a good team?) but considering his strength, athleticism and motor, I'm certain that whichever team drafts him will be extremely happy.
5) Harrison Barnes, F, UNC. For me, after these four, it gets shaky. I actually prefer certain prospects like Jared Sullinger and James McAdoo to Barnes, but this board is all about who I think Toronto will be looking at come late June, and that puts Barnes next on the list. To me Barnes is the hardest of the top picks to really project. There's no question the size and talent are there, but can he actually be an impact player in the NBA? He just seems so one-dimensional for a player of his talents, and his play in the NCAA tourney, especially on Sunday against Kansas, did nothing to ease my concern. Some have argued that Rudy Gay too could have been classified in this manner at UCONN but I disagree. Gay could always do a myriad of things, the question was more around if he would put in the consistent effort needed to improve at the next stage. Barnes doesn't rebound, defend, or dictate the flow of games the way you'd expect someone with his size and talents to do. Put it this way - if I'm Colangelo and I'm choosing between Barnes and say Sullinger or McAdoo, I'm going with one of the latter players.
For More See:
Raptors HQ Draft Board - Davis, Kidd-Gilchrist Still On Top - Raptors