Guard Focused


Toronto Raptors Draft Malachi Flynn, Jalen Harris in 2020 NBA Draft

Youth and gambling on a teenager’s upside was not the goal on Wednesday night.

Picking late in both rounds during the 2020 NBA Draft, the Raptors emphasized maturity and guard play, as they selected a couple of 22-year olds with their picks.

Malachi Flynn, a sharp-shooting guard out of San Diego State in the first round and Jalen Harris, a super athletic two-guard with raw ball-handling ability in the second round out of Nevada. Interestingly enough, in a year with very little information on prospects compared to years passed, the Raptors chose against picking a Power-5 conference player, selected two guards from the lesser known Mountain West Conference.

So what do the Raptors see in their 2020 draft picks?

Jalen Harris, the lesser known of the two is a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, labeled as a versatile and athletic scorer who can score off the dribble and off the pull-up. The Raptors also believe that Harris can develop his playmaking game as he is certain to spend plenty of time next season with the 905 in the G League.

β€œHe’s a big-time athlete who does a lot of different types of playmaking and attacking,” said Raptors assistant general manager Dan Tolzman. β€œHe’s really comfortable with the ball in his hands and some people think he could potentially become a point guard down the road.”

Flynn, meanwhile, has developed in a proven scorer on the collegiate level despite being labeled as an undersized point guard – something the Raptors are all too familiar with after taking a bet on Fred VanVleet and watching Freddy develop into a breakout candidate.

He shot well from three at a high rate, is competitive at both ends of the floor, and has the similar blue print that Raptors will quickly recognizes as reminiscent to VanVleet and Kyle Lowry.

β€œHe’s a modern NBA point guard,” said Raptors general manager Bobby Webster. β€œI think he can do it all on the offensive end. A lot of people are going to talk about the pick-and-roll, shooting off the dribble, shoots the three-ball well, obviously defends at a high level as well.”

And just think, last time the Raptors took on a San Diego State alum, things turned out pretty well!


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