Pick 8: Another surprising pick comes in as Toronto drafts Terrence Ross from Washington. The consensus best wing players left on the board were Duke's Austin Rivers and UConn's Jeremy Lamb; nevertheless, Toronto takes Ross, perhaps with an eye to a potential pairing with DeMar Derozan in mind. (Taking players on account of their fit is justifiable only if all else between two prospects is equal, or very close to it.)
Jay Bilas immediately trolls the pick by pointing out how Ross averaged 25 points per game last season......in the NIT. Designated international expert Fran Frascilla, who hasn't had anything to talk about yet, reminisces about Jonas Valanciunas, picked the year before. Long night for Fran Frascilla. Dude's lonely right now.
The reaction to Ross's pick is the closest thing yet to stunned silence. Even more so than for the Waiters pick; at least that one was vaguely rumoured. It's also perhaps still in the minds of the audience that the last time the Raptors surprised us at #8, they picked Rafael Araujo, a man who recently retired from the game in order to write a book about how unpleasant the game was for him. Nevertheless, Ross's selection is only a bit of a reach, and he has upside to his game. Frame, athleticism, a sweet shot and a decent basketball IQ. The holes in his skill set can come later - in fact, even if they don't, and he makes his living as a shooting specialist, it'll do.
If you're a firm believer in the idea that you can tell when a player knows they're going to a particular team based on the colour of the outfit that they are wearing, then it is safe to say that Terrence Ross had no idea. His Vaudevillian porn star outfit combined a green bowtie with a blue-and-white shirt and a grey jacket - when the ensemble was topped off by a red Raptors hat, Ross now had a colour for every occasion. And looked completely ridiculous doing so.
In addition to those two, Washington also sport Darnell Gant in the frontcourt, the consummate little-things player who turned up to his junior season armed with a previously lacking jumpshot. Gant puts up few stats, but he can defend opposing big men of any type, chips in with some rebounding, and does not damage the offense, despite his inability to contribute much towards it himself. He is, in a way, the opposite of MBA. On the wings, Washington boast the size and shooting prowess of 6'6 players Scott Suggs (junior) and C.J. Wilcox (freshman), neither of whom contribute a whole lot more than their jumpshooting, but whom both know how to get open for their shots, and are judicious in their usage of them. Wilcox in particular is an impressive role playing contributor for a freshman. The other freshman wing player, Terrence Ross, has slightly more versatility with his ability to put the ball on the floor, and has more upside with his greater athleticism, although he too is used largely as an off-ball shooter in the current set-up.
Note: Non-US teams that the player
has played for are, unless stated otherwise, from the top division in
that nation. If a league or division name is expressly stated, it's not
the top division. The only exceptions to this are the rare occasions where
no one league is said to be above the other, such as with the JBL/BJ League
split in Japan.