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Future faces of the franchise?

Will Knight or Walker be the Raptors 5th pick?


In the immediate aftermath of the Raptors crushing drop down the draft order, two names emerged as possible candidates to be taken with the 5th overall pick – Brandon Knight and Kemba Walker. Knight’s status has risen in the past week or so, and it’s possible that he won’t even be available when it comes time for the Raptors to choose. Knight had an impressive year at Kentucky following in the path of star point guard John Wall, but at 19 years old would be far from ready to run the offense of an NBA team. Considering the Raptors have no immediate plans on contending for a playoff spot let alone a championship, Knight would have at least 2-3 years to develop his game before anything would be expected of him. However, Raptors fans aren’t the most patient bunch, so there is always some expectation of at least visible improvement (as was the case with Demar Derozan but not Andrea Bargnani this year). Knight would be a solid, young project with tons of potential but an equally high learning curve.

On the other hand there’s Kemba Walker. Walker is almost 2 years older than Knight, but at 21 age isn’t a huge concern. Most people worry that Walker is undersized at 6’1 and isn’t enough of a pure point guard. The Raptors already have a scoring heavy point guard in Jerryd Bayless and with them constantly looking to move the contract of Jose Calderon, Walker becomes more of the same out of the point guard spot. There’s no doubt Walker is a pure scorer in the mold of a Monta Ellis, but is that what the Raptors need?

Finally, there is every Raptors fans worst nightmare – Jan Vesely, who Bryan Colangelo has spoken fondly of and has been rumoured to be picked by the Raptors, and smokescreen or not, that has to strike fear into every fan’s heart after the frustrating (for lack of a better word) experience with another 7’0 European PF – you know who it is.

The Raptors will most likely hang onto the pick and select the best player available, regardless of need, and here’s hoping that it’s Brandon Knight. Walker just has the feeling of terribly inefficient scorer, and the Raptors need a point guard that can facilitate and get the rest of the team involved in the offense. But, I wouldn’t mind seeing the Raps pick Vesely just so I could sit back and watch the fallout from the Raptors fans.

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Categories: Toronto Raptors
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