The Raptors took a pair of college seniors in this year’s draft in part because they should be more NBA ready. However, as impressive as Delon Wright and Norman Powell were in Summer League and hopefully will continue to show progress during preseason, there is really no way for any rookie to really know what he has gotten himself into at the NBA level until he plays in some real games.
Delon Wright interview:
“I don’t honestly,” Wright told Pro Bball Report. “I am just trying to learn as much as possible. I don’t know what I am getting into, but I know it’s a good thing.”
Both of these players have shown the right kind of attitude and effort that confirms the Raptors drafted well. However, even with the advantage of having a brother (Dorell Wright) in the NBA and playing four years in college, there’s a huge difference between being told about the league, playing with pros in the summer and actually being on the big stage yourself. Things happen fast now. This isn’t like college and Wright knows it.
“Where college is more of a month long process, this is a one week process and the season is here,” Wright said. “You got to be more prepared.
“Overall with the younger guys they taught us the defensive schemes, how to play the pick and roll, little things like that. They didn’t pinpoint one thing, there was a lot of things to expect.”
All rookies lack experience, but Toronto has someone who has been here before and had to fight for playing time. Cory Joseph didn’t have anything handed to him in San Antonio and spent much of his first two NBA seasons on the bench or in the D-League before making a significant impact on a veteran-laden team in years three and four.
“We’ve talked,” Wright said. “We’ve been around each other for about two weeks now.
“If I have question. If he sees something. He can show me the way. Besides that, I think experience will be the best helper.”
Both Wright and Powell know where they sit on the Raptors depth chart and bearing a number of injuries to the regular rotation players, minutes after preseason are more likely to be found in Mississauga with the Raptors 905 than at the Air Canada Centre. Until then, these Raptors rookies should be a lot of fun to watch.
“He is a little older than your normal 19 or 20-year-old coming in today, but that’s good,” head coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s a kid that’s been around the NBA, knows the NBA, talked about the NBA with his brother.”
“My toughness and defense, that’s something that translates to the NBA really well and my athleticism, I am able to get up into guys and create on the break and finish at the rim and at the free throw line. Athleticism and defense are things you can go on from day one and compete.