What happened: Bryan Colangelo stunned just about everybody, including most mock draft experts, by selecting forward Terrence Ross at the eight overall spot. He was projected at 13th by ESPN and 15th by DraftExpress, yet the Raptors took the gamble.
How it went down: After Raptors’ coveted Dion Waiters, Damian Lillard and Harrison Barnes were taken- all the while with the much higher touted Austin Rivers, Jeremy Lamb and big man Andre Drummond still on the board- David Stern made the announcement.
What He Did Last Year: Playing with the Washington Huskies in the NCAA last year, sophomore averaged 15.3 points on 45 per cent shooting while adding 6.4 rebounds and 1.3 assists for a team that made the National Invitation Tournament.
The Good: He’s a versatile player best suited to play small forward, though he’s a better shooter than attacker, averaging over five three-pointers a game. At 6’6 190 LBs, Ross’s athleticism makes him one of the top guard prospects in this draft. He’s also a very underrated defender for his position.
The Bad: Ross needs to figure out how to create his own shot. He averaged 2.0 turnovers per game last year, so ball handling is a major problem as is getting to the free throw line, something he averaged 3.2 times per 40 minutes. Also, Ross is not a great playmaker.
What It Means: James Johnson will likely be moved to the bench while Demar Derozan may move over to the small forward position. The Raptors will now have a pure shooter to help out Derozan, a pure scorer.
Justifying the Selection: Ross can be an immediate impact player on a team that appears to contending now- not in three years- for the postseason. Also, a pure shooter who can run the floor is something the Raptors currently lack, something that Rivers wasn’t as good it.
Worth Noting: Ross finished last season with four consecutive 20+ point-performances.
Verdict: Ross wasn’t even projected to be in the lottery. And while the Raptors did get the shooting guard they wanted, they went with Ross over Rivers and Lamb, which certainly may end up proving badly. But needing an impact player right away to compliment scorer Demar Derozan this pick strangely does make sense.