Raptors Draft Short On Stars, Long On Potential and Inconsistencies

micheal malcolmCorrespondent IJune 15, 2009

Who to draft, who not to draft that is the question? So with the number nine pick in the NBA draft the Toronto Raptors have an opportunity to draft a player that likely will be a solid rotation player…hopefully (I really miss Isaiah Thomas now) So let’s examine some potential selections for the Raptors this year.


One. DeMar DeRozan                            

Height: 6’7 Weight: 211 Position: SG School: USC


DeRozan is the popular pick for the Raptors at #9 and it’s clear why: He has the athleticism, and mid-range game of a seasoned veteran. However what has been reported in workouts by ESPN Insider Chad Ford is that DeRozan has the “lack of drive” label attached to him; this statement has been echoed by Draftexpress, and NBAdraftnet.

It doesn’t make me comfortable knowing that he “plays hard but doesn’t go full throttle during games.” doesn’t this sound like a repeat of Vince Carter all over again?


Personally DeRozan needs to be pushed in order to reach his potential, and with no strong personality to guide him, I shudder if DeRozan is exposed to the calm, “go with the flow” mentality of the Raptors. Now that I think about it, why hasn’t Charles Oakley been brought back to give some of these kids a nice hard elbow?


Two. Jrue Holiday                       

Height 6’3 Weight: 185 Position: PG\SG  School: UCLA


I’ve been a huge fan of Holiday before the scouts, and NBA executives started drooling over him. There is a chance that he could be selected before the Raptors pick him at #9 However I feel that he would be an adequate backup (at least better than incumbent Roko Urik) as a PG and SG positions.


I feel as many do that Holiday was caught playing in the wrong system last year and didn’t have a chance to display his outstanding PG skills. Based on the scouting reports he should be able to have a solid NBA career and some are predicting that he’ll follow a similar career path as former teammate Russell Westbrook, and surprise some people next year.


Three. Earl Clark                          

Height 6’10 Weight:226 Position: SF School: Louisville


I will firstly say that the Raptors should only pick Clark if they can trade down and shed some salary, or receive some bench help. Earl Clark is a mismatch offensively but I remain unconvinced that his game will translate at the NBA level, simply put he suffers from the same “inconsistent” label that also plagues DeRozan.


Clark was simply overwhelming lesser opponents at the college level because of his athleticism and in the NBA that just wont work with guys being able to match or surpass what he is capable of right now.(Think Rashard Lewis, Shawn Marion)


After watching a Louisville game this past season I noticed that Clark NEVER FINISHES WITH HIS LEFT! Clearly based on the report the scouts and I were watching the same game. Clark only fits in with the Raptors in the sense that he is inconsistent from game to game.


Based on all the information available to us at this time it would appear DeRozan would be the “safe” pick but expectations would suggest that if properly cultivated DeRozan can become a solid player if not a superstar. The key for this year’s draft class will be patience.


Gone are the days that a high draft pick meant a NBA-Ready Player and instant credibility.  This year’s draft prospects are full of possibilities and if’s. Teaching is what is needed. Hopefully Brian Colangelo will be able to select someone that will fit into the Up-Tempo system that is now in place in Toronto.


Wait…is there ANY chance we could re-do the 2003 draft?