Toronto Raptors Staying Busy Ahead of 2017 NBA Draft
GTA’s own Dillon Brooks and Dylan Ennis were just two of the many talented, young prospects that the Toronto Raptors have been working out and looking at over the past few days as the 2017 NBA draft continues to etch closer.
With the wounds still fresh from the second round sweep at the hands of the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Raptors have begun focusing on the future. With just one pick in the upcoming draft and the opportunity of signing undrafted youngsters and developing them over in Mississauga, the Raptors organization remain excited about the potential they have seen at the BioSteel Centre these past few days.
“Dillon … brings so much passion to the table,” Toronto’s director of scouting Dan Tolzman said after the workout. “Whatever he doesn’t offer skill (or) talent wise, he makes up for just with his winning plays and outplaying his opponents. I think he has shown he can score and defend and do all the things you look for from energy-type guys, and he brings that.”
While projected to be a mid-to-late second round selection, Brooks is not letting anything rattle him as he continues to work for potential draft suitors.
“It doesn’t matter what spot you’re at. (It’s about) staying in the league and finding a way, your own way, for the best fit,” he said. “A good man (former NBA lottery pick, and Findlay alumnus, Rashad Vaughn) told me that it’s easy to get to the league, it’s hard to stay in it. And I’ve been preaching that to myself and getting ready for the uphill battle.”
Aside from Brooks and Ennis, the Raptors have also had another Oregon Ducks star workout for the team. Sharp-shooter Tyler Dorsey was given a look as well as Kobi Simmons of Arizona, Semi Ojeleye of SMU, Markis McDuffie of Wichita State, the alma mater of the undrafted point guard and current Raptor Fred VanVleet, as well as Johnathan Williams of Gonzaga.
The SMU product is ranked as the highest player of the bunch by Draft Express, coming in at 28 on the Top 100 prospects. Ojeleye averaged 19-points and 6.9-boards per game last season, while shooting an impressive 42% from three-point range.
Currently holding on to the 23rd pick of the first round, it will be interesting to see what the Raptors decide to do on June 22.