The Raptors do not have their first-round pick, since it has been owned by Spurs since the transfer between Goran Dragic and Thaddeus Young last February.
Masai Ujiri must therefore be satisfied with the 33rd choice, in the second round. A comfortable position for the leader of the Raptors, who has proven in the past that he does not need a “lottery pick” to do good business (Pascal Siakam 27th choice of the 2016 Draft, OG Anunoby 23rd choice of the Draft 2017), and who is therefore carefully studying his options.
Among these, there is the local sector: the Canadians Caleb Houstan and Andrew Nembhard.
The first, winger coming out of a complicated “freshman” season in Michigan (10.1 points on 38.4% on shots), appeared in the Draft, somewhat to everyone’s surprise. The start of the second round corresponds to the zone in which it is projected, and the interest of the Raptors therefore makes sense. If Caleb Houston disappointed last year, he is still a talented player, who is only 19 years old.
Within the Canadian franchise, which has excelled for years through in-house training, he could develop into a solid NBA player.
The second is older since he spent four years in the NCAA. At 22, Andrew Nembhard played two seasons in Florida before joining the Gonzaga juggernaut. Holder 115 times in 131 matches during his brilliant university career (10 points at 44.6% on shots, 5.3 assists), he has established himself as one of the best organizing leaders in the country.
The mastery of “pick-and-roll” is his main asset, and we can easily imagine him as a useful replacement for the Raptors from his debut. Especially since he knows Nick Nurse well, having already played under him at the 2019 World Cup in China.
Received by the Raptors for a “workout” this Friday, the two young Canadians had stars in their eyes when they imagined the possibility of starting their professional careers in the jersey of Toronto.
” I was so grateful to put on this jersey. said Andrew Nembhard. ” I don’t take this opportunity for granted, I’m so grateful. The Raptors have become so important to Canadians. When I was very young, that was not the case. I could see the interest and love for the club growing in the country. Especially when they won the title a few years ago. »
” With my brother, we stayed up late at night to watch the matches. “recalls for his part Caleb Houstan, winner of the bronze medal with his country at the U19 World Cup in Latvia last summer, and former teammate of Scottie Barnes in high school with the Montverde Academy.
Both players are well ranked in ESPN’s recent Mock Draft: Caleb Houstan is ranked 25th at San Antonio, while Andrew Nembhard is 31st at the Pacers.
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