Toronto Raptors: Bold Predicitions for Their Rookies in 2012-13 NBA Season

Patrick Yaghoobians@PyaghoobiansAnalyst IISeptember 11, 2012

Toronto Raptors: Bold Predicitions for Their Rookies in 2012-13 NBA Season

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    The Toronto Raptors have been the laughingstock of the NBA for quite some time now, and in the past few years, the team has been in rebuilding mode.

    With three rookies from two different draft classes on the roster for the upcoming season, these three players add to their youth.

    Jonas Valanciunas, Terrence Ross and Quincy Acy are ready to make a name for themselves and help the Raptors get back into the playoffs.

Terrence Ross: Becomes Starter by End of the Season

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    From the looks of it, Landry Fields will be getting the starting nod at small forward this upcoming season.

    Fields proved that he could play at the NBA level, and he was a steal for the New York Knicks in the 2010 NBA draft. Once Carmelo Anthony joined the team, however, things went downhill for him.

    Fields, a solid defender, is a very good rebounder for his size. His offensive numbers saw huge drops in his second year compared to his rookie season, but now he has a fresh start in Toronto.

    The Raptors also have Terrence Ross. Taken eighth overall, some may call this pick a reach, but consider that he was playing for the Washington Huskies—not exactly North Carolina or Kentucky.

    Ross is essentially a Fields-type player, but he has more versatility on offense. One of the best shooters in the draft, he will probably see most of his shots coming from beyond the arc.

    Ross is also a hard-nosed defender and very athletic, which is the kind of player Dwane Casey likes. Should he impress Casey enough, Ross should get the nod to start later on in the season.

    Ross has a lot of potential, and he can become a great player in the NBA if he works hard enough.

Quincy Acy: Top 5 in NBA for Offensive Rebounds Per 36 Minutes

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    Quincy Acy is one of the more energetic players coming out of the draft, and people consider him to be a poor-mans Reggie Evans. Their games and, oddly enough, physical traits are similar, but Acy has an offensive game.

    Acy has developed his offensive game throughout his years in college, and his jumper has improved a great deal.

    Acy and Perry Jones III led the Baylor Bears in rebounding, grabbing 7.2 and 7.7 RPG, respectively. Of those 7.2, 2.6 were offensive rebounds.

    Rebounding and playing tough defense will be his primary jobs on this Raptors team.

    He won't be getting many minutes this season (anywhere from 10-15 per game, possibly), but his rebounding will be essential.

Jonas Valanciunas: Wins Rookie of the Year

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    Toronto fans have been waiting a year and a half for the big man from Lithuania.

    It is very bold saying he can win Rookie of the Year with Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, among others, his competition.

    The talent is there, and Jonas Valanciunas is one of those players who just loves the game of basketball, which is something you can tell by watching his documentary by Raptors TV.

    Valanciunas has the tools to be a very good player in the NBA. He has the size, defensive ability, motor and a developing offensive game. He needs to add some more muscle and learn to be more of an aggressive player.

    It's not impossible for Valanciunas to win ROY in his situation. There is a possibility he might not start because Amir Johnson has been working hard himself, but that should make Valanciunas play harder to earn that starting spot.

    I appreciate you guys reading my article. I am writing a personal blog devoted to everything happening in Toronto sports that has to do with the Raptors, Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, etc.