Toronto Raptors Player Profile: Terrence Ross

By Craig Ballard

In the 2012 NBA Draft the Toronto Raptors selected Terrence Ross out of the University of Washington with the #8 overall pick. Every draft grade article that followed listed Ross as a “reach” at #8, but GM Bryan Colangelo was seeking help on the wing. Once the Cleveland Cavaliers drafted Dion Waiters with the #4 pick the Raps decided to stay put at #8 and draft Ross.

I do believe Ross was a reach at #8, but that is just me referring to the strategy of maximizing your draft. It is not a comment on the NBA player Ross can (and will) become. I was hoping for the Raps to trade down to be able to add additional assets and then snag Ross who would be available later in the draft. Colangelo did not want to go that route. He already has Jonas Valanciunas making his Raps debut this season so BC was committed to adding a wing player regardless of how it happened (no trade-down).

There are several aspects of Ross’ game that are exciting. At 6’6″ 190 pounds he is significantly too skinny these days so that surely needs to improve, but he brings shooting, athleticism, and defense to the table.

Ross can shoot. He has a good lift and a high-release so he gets his shot off quite often. He has such athleticism, and is such a good leaper, that we hope he does not go the route of Vince Carter and be a guy who should be driving more but constantly settles for jumpers. In college, seven out of every ten field goal attempts for Ross were jump shots. Too athletic, too much upside for settling for jumpers so often.

Ross can catch-and-shoot. He can slash to the rim. The most exciting thing (in my mind) about Ross is he has a history of putting in the work required to improve every year.

He surely had free-range in college to hoist shots, but that aspect of his game needs to be reigned in a tad on this level. His college team did not have a reputation as a disciplined team. Dwane Casey runs a significantly more disciplined ship than Ross is used to.

I do think Casey will love this young man because he already has several things going for him defensively. He uses his length and athleticism very well, and gets into the players grill he is guarding. I love the fact that he does not require help on defense. He is a very good 1-on-1 defender already. In college his opponents shot a measly 22% vs him in 1-on-1 action. Very impressive.

We know the wing positions are becoming potentially crowded in the T-Dot (Landry Fields and DeMar DeRozan), but Ross’ defense will earn him playing time for Casey. He can defend either the shooting guard or the small forward on the wing.

In college he turned the ball over as much (if not more) than he assisted teammates. That is obviously concerning, but I think most of that is because of the undisciplined style his team had. At the NBA level it will become clear to him immediately if you are a turnover guy then your minutes will suffer tremendously.

We need to see weight added for sure, but I am excited about Terrence Ross.

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