OG Anunoby‘s sophomore season at Indiana came to a premature end because of a serious knee injury, but that didn’t stop the Toronto Raptors from selecting him with the No. 23 pick Thursday in the 2017 NBA draft.
The Raptors tweeted about the selection:
ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla was critical of Anunoby’s shooting but thinks he’s a good pick at this point in the first round:
ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton also thinks Anunoby will be a good fit for Toronto:
During the ESPN broadcast, Anunoby answered an important question about his NBA career, per Raptors Republic’s Blake Murphy:
Anunoby suffered the knee injury in January and required surgery, but his numbers improved nearly across the board from his freshman to sophomore campaigns before the setback. He posted 11.1 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 steals per game in 2016-17 after tallying 4.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and 0.8 steals a night as a freshman.
One concern is his three-point shot (31.1 percent in 2016-17), but he is strong and physical enough to finish through contact at the rim and shot an efficient 55.6 percent from the field. He may develop into a versatile playmaker inside the arc who can overpower smaller defenders and drive past bigger ones.
Those same traits at 6’8″ make Anunoby a potentially elite defender even in the pros. He can body up inside and possesses the lateral quickness to hang with ball-handlers and shooters.
If he lives up to his potential on the defensive side alone, the Toronto Raptors will have an immediate contributor with the Indiana product.
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