June 28, 2012; Newark, NJ, USA; Terrence Ross (Washington), right, is introduced as the number eight overall pick to the Toronto Raptors by NBA commissioner David Stern during the 2012 NBA Draft at the Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Did The Toronto Raptors Reach For Terrence Ross?


In what was perhaps the most surprising selection of the opening 14 lottery picks, the Toronto Raptors used their #8 draft pick to take Terrence Ross, a 6’7 small forward out of the University of Washington.

Many mock drafts around the league had Ross going in the mid-to-late teens. Even the analysts covering the draft were surprised Ross went as high as he did.

Terrence Ross is not a bad player by any means. He averaged 16.4 points and 5.1 rebounds a game while shooting 45% from the field in his final year at Washington.

Washington didn’t advance to the NCAA tournament, so it’s hard to decipher just how good Ross could have been if he had gone up against better competition.

Ross is also very thin for his frame (6’7, but only 197 lbs). Regardless if he plays at the 2 or moves up to guard 3′s, he will need to add considerable weight over the offseason so he can compete against the best the NBA has to offer.

With all due respect to Mr. Ross, he was picked way too high in this draft, through no fault of his own of course.

With guys like Andre Drummond (who the Raptors didn’t need, but certainly could have used as trade bait), Jeremy Lamb and Austin Rivers still available, it makes me question what the Raptors were thinking.

If they wanted Ross so bad, couldn’t they have traded down to acquire him? He wasn’t on the radar of a lot of teams, especially in the lottery. I’m positive that if Toronto was keen on taking him, they could have moved down 8-10 picks, got some assets and still picked Ross.

He isn’t the “big name” draft pick this team surely needs. At least there is some name recognition with guys like Rivers and Lamb. Ross inspires no confidence or hope into the souls of the Raptors faithful. It doesn’t with me, that’s for sure.

Jonas Valanciunas, the 7 foot center from Lithuania who was picked #5 by Toronto in last years draft, got more air time than Ross did on this night. If Raptors fans should be excited about anything heading into next season, it’s Valanciunas.

Not Ross.

Terrence Ross has some game. This isn’t another Charlie Villaneuva situation where the franchise reached for a guy who turned out to be nothing more than a bona-fide scrub in the NBA. Ross has a lot of work to do to win over the team, its fans and the city of Toronto…but he can do it.

The pick was still a reach though. No doubt about it.

Christopher Walder is a sports blogger and lead editor for Sir Charles in Charge. You may follow him on Twitter @WalderSports

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