On Pro Bball Report recently: Raptors draft Powell and Wright, Greivis Vasquez traded, can GM Masai Ujiri get it done, Andre Iguodala MVP, Terrence Ross and more.
The Toronto Raptors used the second round pick they received from the Bucks in the Greivis Vasquez trade to select UCLA shooting guard Norman Powell. Powell worked out in Toronto on June 10th and must have impressed as he was unexpectedly selected for a media scrum after the practice.
Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri didn’t take any risks this time as he drafts Utah Senior, 23-year-old, Delon Wright. Averaging 15 points, 5.8 rebounds, 5.2 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.1 blocks, Wright was a two-time All PAC-12 Conference First Team and Pac-12 All-Defensive Team choice over his two seasons in Utah.
The Toronto Raptors have traded veteran point guard Greivis Vasquez to the Bucks for salary cap space, a future first round draft pick and a second round pick. This move can give Toronto the room to go after a max contract free agent this summer.
Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has admitted several times now to being too complacent at the trade deadline and has suggested the Raptors are open for business now.
Ujiri wasn’t happy with how his team’s season ended and he’s ready to blame himself for not doing anything at the trade deadline. However, draft night can be just as conducive to deal-making as mid-season and Ujiri will have his opportunities to make up for what he didn’t do in February.
Toronto Raptors President and General Manager, Basketball Operations Masai Ujiri has some big decisions to make heading into this off season. He could keep his draft pick, re-sign free agents Lou Williams, Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough and in all probability stay atop the Atlantic Division with 48+ wins again or he could use some of his assets and his salary cap space in an attempt to take his team to another level.
“We actually feel pretty lucky to have gotten him here too for a workout,” Tolzman said. “The production he put up as a freshman in one of the best conferences in America, it’s pretty impressive and then you add the raw intangibles he brings to the table.”
The MVP award is subjective and LeBron James had a couple of fingers on the trophy at the end of the NBA Finals, but the player with the biggest impact in determining the winner was Andre Iguodala. In the end, they got this award right. Iguodala received 7 votes for Finals MVP to 4 votes for James.
Just like in the regular season, there seems to be some confusion between the most productive player and the most valuable player. Unless winning has suddenly become a secondary goal in the NBA and the intangibles a player brings to their team have become meaningless, the MVP is the player that tips the scales for the team that wins.
The top quotes following the Golden State Warriors 104-91 win versus the Cleveland Cavaliers, overcoming the massive 40 point 14 rebound 11 assist triple-double by LeBron James, “I’m the best player in the world.”
The Toronto Raptors wing Terrence Ross was seen working out with Director of Sports Science Alex McKechnie on Tuesday following the scheduled predraft workouts at the Air Canada Centre.
The Magic have become deep in slashers and light on players who can space the floor to keep driving lanes open and in today’s NBA that becomes an invitation for opposing defenses to pack the paint. Last year Orlando was 22nd in three-point attempts, 16th in three-point field goal percentage and 25th in points scored. In a league where three-point shooters are going at a premium, Skiles needs more shooting if he is to get the best out of his very young roster.
By Frank McLean
We are down to less than 48 hours before the NBA draft and the big 64-thousand dollar question is what will the Toronto Raptors do?
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“I’ve been a junkyard dog since I came in this league,” Thompson said. “That’s my job no matter who I’m matched up against. I’m going to come in and try to outwork them. My mentality is being the hardest working guy on the court, no matter who I’m matched up against. I want to work harder than everyone else on the court. Harder than the refs, harder than my teammates. That’s just my mentality.”
“Pure intensity,” Tolzman described. “(Harrell) brings so much to the table. Instantly just walking into the gym he raises the level of the competition – just the physicality – just the pure intensity. He is a lot like a Kenneth Faried type guy that just runs the floor, bangs on the boards, he is always applying pressure to whoever is defending him.”
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that the Junior from Virginia was in the first group of NBA draft prospects to work out for the Toronto Raptors this year, Justin Anderson has been a superior defender on a top-ranked NCAA defensive team. An athlete with defensive credentials and a deadly jump shot, Anderson, just like Terrence Ross in 2012, fits the mold Raptors head coach Dwane Casey is looking for.
While the jury is still out on how some recent 20th picks will develop over the longer term, the past decade leaves little doubt about what realistic expectations should be and they are not very high. If a team can nab a role player at 20, they’ve done well – very well indeed.