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PJ Dozier at Toronto Raptors NBA draft workout

Drafting In The 20s, Raptors Look at P.J. Dozier

With all the young players already under contract, drafting in the twenties can seem kind of pointless as the Raptors took a hard look at utility guard P.J. Dozier in Toronto.

At 6’6, the South Carolina sophomore can guard multiple positions, but he’s always played point guard and that may not be where he ends up playing professionally.

“I’ve always been a point guard at every level thus far,” Dozier said. “But being versatile is definitely something I hang my hat on. Being able to play the one thru three and also defend the one thru three.”

“He is one of the utility guys that with his basketball I.Q. and his feel for the game you can plug him in multiple positions and he’ll impact the game somehow,” said Dan Tolzman, Raptors director player personnel. “It’s just a matter of him working on all of the different (parts) of the game that he impacts and just improving on all those aspects.”

In other words, the physical tools and potential is there, but Dozier has a lot to learn.

There is no consensus as to where Dozier might fall in the draft. He could go in the mid-twenties or fall deep in the second round.

Draft Express has him at 50 and Julian Applebome explains why,

Dozier doesn’t yet have a true position offensively … He is not yet a true point guard … Dozier isn’t an elite ball-handler …  He lacks touch on his mid-range jumpers … His limited outside shooting really prohibits him in the half court

his upside as a versatile defender is what is most intriguing about him as an NBA prospect.  Dozier brings a ton of value in those aspects of the game.

NBA puts him in the first round and Clayton Crowe compares him to Shaun Livingston.

Combo guard with the ability and length to play/defend up three positions on the court … Was forced to play more PG during sophomore year at South Carolina … Gifted athlete with an improving offensive game

he doesn’t necessarily have the shot for the shooting guard position and is far from a finished product in terms of his handle and vision for the point

He’s still extremely raw on the offensive end of the floor

Comments about Dozier give the impression he’s a young prospect who is likely to be spending most of his rookie season in the NBA D-League learning the nuances of the professional game and working on his skills while his team figures what position he is best suited to play at the next level.

Dozier likely has NBA potential and his defensive credentials are intriguing, but is the Raptors roster as currently constructed really in need of another player at this stage?



Stephen_Brotherston_insideStephen Brotherston covers the Toronto Raptors and visiting NBA teams at the Air Canada Centre and is a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association.