Toronto Raptors 2020 NBA Draft Preview: Why Grant Riller is an ideal target

Grant Riller #1 of the Charleston Cougars. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Grant Riller #1 of the Charleston Cougars. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Grant Riller #1 of the Charleston Cougars takes a foul shot during a college basketball game. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

What the Raptors would get with Riller

The negatives are his age at 23, his defensive effort is inconsistent and the fact that he hasn’t shown the ability to be a dynamic passer with the amount he had the ball in his hands.

Riller can pass, but he makes too many “jump passes” and most of his assists came off the ability to beat his man and force help making the easy dump-off pass, lobs or kick to the strong side corner. NBA quality defence is going to limit those opportunities and force him to use his eyes to find players, although the dump off-types will still be there, just not as often. He did show the ability to move defences with his eyes and dish off some nice dimes, just not consistently enough.

The Fred VanVleet player comparison does come up with Riller, I personally don’t see it outside of the defensive tools, and I would still consider Vanvleet a considerably better defensive player. Riller projects as a better finisher, but VanVleet is undoubtedly a better shooter, passer and overall operator in pick and roll.

Riller to me is more like Dennis Schroder, with a bigger frame but not as quick a first step (although it is quick). I think the Raptors (with or without Fred VanVleet and/or Kyle Lowry) would benefit tremendously from taking Riller at 29 and trust he can play and guard the one or the two.

Even if Riller is the fourth guard off the bench for a year (perhaps even spending time playing for Raptors 905), he would gain invaluable experience in their system and be even more ready to be a day 1 contributor in his age 23 or 24 seasons. Putting him in the Raptors development system will fine-tune his strengths and improve his weaknesses, and I think he’s going to be a starting calibre player in the NBA.

Let’s be clear though, between Delon Wright (20), OG Anunoby (23), Pascal Siakam (27), Norman Powell (46), Fred VanVleet (Undrafted), Terrance Davis (Undrafted), the Raptors have shown that their draft and development system is top tier even without premium picks. With late first-rounders, second-rounders and undrafted selections, it is a good bet that anyone they get at 29 is in a prime position to be a contributor for this team in the future.

What position should the Raptors prioritize at the 220 NBA Draft? Is Riller the right player to take at 29th overall? Let us know in the comments below.