If it feels like the NBA season just ended, that’s because it did.
But there was still an NBA Draft to get through on Wednesday and the Toronto Raptors, fresh off another dominant season, made two selections (No. 29 and 59) to add to their team.
The Raptors first pick, 22-year-old Malachi Flynn of San Diego State, is already drawing strong comparisons to Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet. What Flynn lacks in size (he’s listed as 6-foot-1) he makes up for with what many analysts call elite-level skill.
— Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) November 19, 2020
The guard is coming off a season in which he averaged 18 points per game and shot 37 per cent from the three-point line, and here’s a fun fact: Flynn hails from the same college as former Raptors forward and ‘Fun Guy’ Kawhi Leonard.
He joins Kawhi as the first San Diego State player selected in the first round since 1984.
“He’s a modern NBA point guard,” Raptors general manager Bobby Webster said on Wednesday, per Sportsnet.
“I 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.”
Here’s what Sportsnet’s Steven Loung had to say about Flynn.
“Flynn is ultra-competitive particularly on the defensive end and has similar qualities to Lowry and VanVleet in that he’s unafraid to get into guys and make people uncomfortable, confident in his ability to poke the ball loose or use his quick feet to stay in front of players.”
The Raptors have fared extremely well in the first round in recent years, selecting OG Anunoby 23rd overall in 2017 and Pascal Siakam 27th overall in 2016.
It sounds like Toronto is getting a player that should fit into the team’s culture and rotation as early as this coming season, which kicks off on Dec. 22.
Though some believed the Raptors would aim to select a forward with their next pick, Toronto continued to bolster their backcourt depth in the second round, selecting Nevada’s Jalen Harris at 59th overall.
— Jalen (@TheJalenHarris) November 19, 2020
Harris is listed at 6-foot-5 and like Flynn has a knack for scoring as he finished with 21 points per-game in college. He also seems excited to be heading North.
In 2019, the Raptors selected Dewan Hernandez from Florida with the 59th overall pick.