Raptors Pre-Draft Workout Recap
The Toronto Raptors had a busy week in advance of the 2017 NBA Draft. With the draft taking place on Thursday, June 22, Toronto's front office spent the week before it holding a pre-draft workout as well as a two-day free agent minicamp. The workout was the ninth the team has held in preparation for this draft.
After more than a month of workouts for some of the draft prospects, the final week of workouts and travel can be especially gruelling. Dan Tolzman discussed how fatigue can affect workouts at this point in the process, as well as how it reveals the players that have properly trained for the process.
"They stand out," Tolzman said. "Especially as the workout goes on. We try to do a lot of the skip-based stuff early, before the fatigue sets in and it becomes more of a battle of nutrition by the end and you can see the guys who still have energy and still are pushing and they clearly trained for this moment and are doing well in it."
The workout part of draft preparation done for the time being, the front office will now spend much of its time debating player rankings as it compiles its draftboard for Thursday night. The two-day free agent minicamp that Toronto held on Thursday and Friday not only provided the team with an opportunity to check up on players they've tracked in the past, but also to provide additional context to some of the players they'd just worked out in pre-draft workouts.
"Even though the draft prospects might have a higher ceiling, longer road to becoming a better player, you kind of compare them side by side [with the guys in the free agent minicamp]," Tolzman said. "You can see how some of these guys might fit against some of the draft guys you're looking at and maybe it changes the way that you draft if you see something here that really interests you. You can bring a guy in via a different route."
With less than a week until the draft, getting the draft board in order becomes the priority. So much of what happens on draft night depends on how things unfold for the teams that are selecting before you. Being prepared for players to both rise and fall in the moment is a crucial part of preparation. Things can change in the blink of an eye and when you're on the clock, big decisions must be made quickly. The workouts, interviews and film studied over the past month will be largely what determines how that decision is made.
PRE-DRAFT BY THE NUMBERS
9 - Number of pre-draft workouts held by the Raptors in advance of the 2017 NBA Draft.
50 - Total number of players brought in by the Toronto Raptors in 2017 pre-draft workouts.
6 - Canadians who came in to workout: Naz Mitrou-Long, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Justin Jackson, MiKyle McIntosh, Dillon Brooks and Dylan Ennis.
2 - Fewest number of players appearing in a single workout. While most workouts featured six players working out in a 3-on-3 format, UCLA's T.J. Leaf and George Washington's Tyler Cavanaugh came in for a a two-player workout on May 18.
22 - guards who came through to workout and show off their respective skill-sets.
28 - number of forwards who were in to audition for the Raptors.
27 - seniors who came to workout. In a time where seniors often have to prove they have the same kind of upside as younger draftees, the Raptors organization continues to show interest in players who come into the pre-draft process with maturity and experience. In 2015 the Raptors selected Norman Powell and Delon Wright, both seniors. Following last year's draft where the team selected sophomore Jakob Poeltl with the ninth pick and sophomore Pascal Siakam with the 27th pick, the team also signed undrafted four-year senior point guard, Fred VanVleet.
5 - minutes will be on the clock when Toronto's selection begins.
23 - Toronto will be selecting 23rd in the draft.