Toronto Raptors put regret behind them to concentrate on the future

President Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
President Masai Ujiri of the Toronto Raptors. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Even without any picks in the upcoming NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors still have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks.

With every win the Boston Celtics have secured against the Cleveland Cavaliers, it increases the pain and realisation the Toronto Raptors missed a golden opportunity this season. And this is something the management, players and fans alike will have to live with.

How the Raptors chose to channel any regret and disappointment is up to them. It is to be hoped Masai Ujiri and company will use this as motivation to continue improving, in their aim to reach the promised land.

As part of the process, this will involve improving the franchise from top to bottom. For better or worse, Ujiri believed this included firing Dwane Casey, even though he was coming off coaching the most successful regular season in team history.

Another part of the process came last Thursday, when the Raptors held a pre-draft workout for six prospects. As per the team’s media relations department, the six prospects were Jon Elmore, Marcus Foster, Jairus Lyles, Dakota Mathias, Marcus Lee and Nana Foulland.

Some people may wonder why the Raptors are holding workouts, when they have no picks in the upcoming draft on June 21. However, the team also have their Summer League and G League rosters to think about.

But who are the prospects in question? Let’s take a brief look at each of the six players who attended the Raptors’ workout.

Jon Elmore

21 – Guard – Marshall (2015–present)

Resume: 2× First-team All-Conference USA (2017, 2018), C-USA Tournament MVP (2018)

Pros: Excellent free-throw shooter, prolific scorer, good playmaker, smart player

Cons: Inconsistent, average athlete, limited experience against top competition

Marcus Foster

22 – Guard – Kansas State (2013–2015), Creighton (2016–present)

Resume: 2 × First-team All-Big East (2017, 2018), Second-team All-Big 12 (2014)

Pros: Excels at scoring on the move, handles the ball well, very good athlete

Cons: Can be too focused on scoring, doesn’t get enough steals or blocks, not a true point guard

Jairus Lyles

22- Guard – VCU (2013–2014), UMBC (2015–2018) 

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Resume: First-team All-America East (2018), 2× Second-team All-America East (2016, 2017)

Pros: Good shooter, excels at attacking the basket, prolific scorer, good playmaker

Cons: Ball dominant, not a true point guard, but is too undersized to play the two

Dakota Mathias

22- Guard – Purdue (2014-2018)

Pros: Very good shooter, especially deep, good free-throw shooter, moves well off ball on offence

Cons: Struggles to consistently create own shot, can be too passive on offense, average athlete

Marcus Lee

23 – Forward – Kentucky (2013–2016), California (2017-present)

Resume: McDonald’s All-American (2013), First-team Parade All-American (2013)

Pros: Excels at scoring on the move, gifted shot blocker, tremendous athlete, rock solid motor

Cons: Must improve face-up game, must expand low post move, can be undisciplined defensively

Nana Foulland

22 – Centre – Bucknell (2014–2018)

Resume: AP Honorable Mention All-American (2017), Patriot League Player of the Year (2017), Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year (2017), 2× first-team All-Patriot League (2017, 2018)

Pros: Excellent work ethic, length and timing to be very good shot-blocker, terrific footwork

Cons: Not exceptionally athletic, offensive game arguably isn’t diverse enough for the NBA

Next: DeRozan's season ends on a personal high

Are you familiar with any of the six players who attended the Toronto Raptors’ pre-draft workout on Thursday? If so, what is your take on them?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.