The Toronto Raptors will look to use both of their second-round picks in the 2021 NBA Draft to acquire the next great developmental player that emerges as a quality rotation presence. If they have their heart set on a bigger, offensively-gifted guard, the perfect player for them might be Ohio guard Jason Preston.
Preston’s story is straight out of a fairytale. After losing his mother at a young age, averaging just two points per game in high school, and posting his own highlight tapes to Twitter, Preston earned an offer to Ohio and embarked upon an exceptional college career.
He is also part of the FanSided family, oddly enough. His byline on PistonPowered, FanSided’s Detroit Pistons site, is viewable to this day. He traded in his career as a writer in order to make a go of it on the court, and he was able to record averages of 15.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 7.3 assists per game with the Bobcats this season.
If he does fall, there is a ton to like about this game and how it would thrive in Toronto’s system.
Jason Preston could help the Toronto Raptors as a bench scorer.
First and foremost, Preston is a scorer. After making almost 40% of his 3-point attempts during his final two years in Athens, Preston took a major leap forward in that area. His ability to finish inside the arc, where he made 55% and 57% of his shots during his sophomore and junior years, shows a craftiness in his game and the ability to finish through contact.
Despite his size and scoring chops, Preston is a solid facilitator at the point guard position. Without question one of the best passers in this class, Preston’s incisive dished helped him rank sixth in the country in assists per game.
Preston’s feel for the game really shows up on the defensive end, where he managed to play some stifling defense despite a lack of amazing athletic ability. The combination of those skills helped Preston and the Bobcats take down a favored Virginia squad in the NCAA tournament.
Preston’s flaws as a prospect relate mostly to his physical build. At 6-4 and a lean 180, he will likely need to put on some serious weight if he is to replicate his tremendous rebounding and interior finishing in the pros. He doesn’t have an overly quick first step, and while that lack of athleticism worked in the MAC, he might need to speed up in the NBA.
Preston’s game checks a lot of the boxes Toronto normally asks their guards to check. With the ability to play tough on-ball defense, a solid 3-point shot, and instinctual passing ability, Preston’s NBA dreams could really take off if the Raptors end up taking him and making him a key reserve as a rookie.