Ismael Kamagate, Justin Lewis are potential Raptors steals in NBA Draft

Amit Mann is joined by NBA Draft analyst Richard Stayman to discuss prospects who are projected to be picked in the second round who have the potential to be high impact players in the NBA. The full episode is available on the "Raptors Over Everything" podcast feed.

Video Transcript

AMITT MANN: Another name for you, and I'm curious what you think about this big center, Ismael Kamagate.

RICHARD STAYMAN: Oh, I'm a huge fan of Kamagate. He is a modern big in the way that you can't expose him on switches. He resembles a lot of Deandre Ayton is the best way I would describe it. He like will occasionally do these mid-range jumpers while just finishing at the rim, can recover from anything on defense, massive frame, great athleticism, switchable on defense. You look at just those tools and then you hope he irons out some of the understanding of the game and just learns to play within schemes.

I think he's an easy fix. I think really could be one of the bigger steals. And I personally think Toronto is the best fit for him. I would love him in Dallas, I think I've seen a lot of Dallas fans have become massive Kamagate on the stands at this point. I just I think about, yeah, he'd be good in Dallas, but look at Toronto, a place that has continuously turned big men that are raw into useful players.


RICHARD STAYMAN: I'd love it. I think that's his best spot.

AMITT MANN: He seems like he's got a great mentality too. And he's got like a nose for the ball. When you think about his past and [INAUDIBLE] around the rim, it's definitely there because of his explosiveness. And offensive rebounding I'm sure it's a little bit easier with where he's playing, it might be a little bit of a transition for him when he gets to the NBA. But the fact that he's already got a mid-range jumper, you can definitely extend that to 3 point range.

Over the course of time he is a project, right? But the Raptors love projects. I said the quote to you earlier in this. If we can find them, we will develop them. He sounds like a person at the Raptors will be willing to just find and develop and spend the time trying to figure out to make them a capable player. Because you just don't find players at 6' 11" with that kind of mobility very often. Very rare. I'm surprised that he's so low in the draft right now.

RICHARD STAYMAN: Yeah. And I think a lot of that just stems from him being raw. And also international guys generally, they get I think on mock drafts and just on the line there's a big disconnect between them and NBA teams. That's why every year there's about two guys that everybody's like who? And doesn't know about. And it's because the NBA teams have done their research on them, but it's just hard to keep up with all the international guys. And I think that's where the disconnect stems from. I think he's worth a first round pick.

AMITT MANN: Sure. Usually the players that are drafted are people who are just like, who is this guy? Where did you come from? It's usually the Raptors that end up doing that. They're one of the franchises-- Miami Heat too. They got a terrific development system, so they're willing to take a flyer on a few different players. Other players that come to mind? I've got a few names for you, but I'll let you go first.

RICHARD STAYMAN: Yeah. One other that really stands out to me, I think this is a big time realistic sleeper is Josh Minott from Memphis. He's somebody who from the intel I've heard, teams see him as a potential Mikal Bridges type. He's really athletic.

Potential to shoot the ball, that's probably his biggest weakness right now, it's just inconsistent shooting. But just lights out defender. Good size, good length. And just really good athleticism. And you hope that he can learn to use it in game more and more consistently.

AMITT MANN: What are your thoughts on Justin Lewis?

RICHARD STAYMAN: I like the idea of him, not a huge--

RICHARD STAYMAN: Not like a very big fan of him. I don't know how much I'd trust the jump shot and to me that really scares me. There's a lot of movements in his shot. Obviously great length, uses it to finish at the rim. And I think he's got defensive potential. But I worry about how much that jump shot is going to hold him back. I don't see that being a Major League successful skill in the NBA.

AMITT MANN: Yeah. He kind of reminds me, when you're look at his profile and look at some of his college highlights, he kind of reminds me of OG a little bit in that he's got that physicality. He's a very physical driver. He gets into people. He's got these long strides. He's not necessarily like quick by any means, but he's able to get to his spots, just because he's so physical and he's able to overpower players.

6' 7", 7'2" wingspan. That's a really interesting combination right there. But the driving-- sorry, the jump shot is definitely a concern. You want to make sure that you're getting a player that is going to at least have the tools already to be able to be a competent jump shooter, 3 point shooter, especially in today's NBA. Caleb Houstan is a name that comes to mind because I mean, he skipped the draft combine, which is really interesting. In your experience, why would a player skip the draft combine when they get the invite?

RICHARD STAYMAN: Yeah, I was shocked to see him do it. Because a lot of players don't get the first round guarantee and say, all right, let's pack the bags. It's over. But I don't think that's what happened with him. I just I think my guess is he didn't feel like he had anything to gain, could only lose in being a mystery almost and just doing private workouts is what benefits him.

I'm personally not that big on Caleb Houstan. I think his ceiling is old Vince Carter. I know it's kind of a name I probably shouldn't say on here. But you look like he was a good player in Dallas back in like 2013. He was running pick and rolls, was a big reason why Brandon Wright was big here. Can shoot the ball well. But outside of that, he just didn't do a ton. And he was just a mid-rotation player. I think that kind of tops-- that's where Caleb Houstan tops out.

AMITT MANN: The jump shots very nice, very enticing. But he had a very up and down year. And that's why the skipping of the combine is so interesting is that it's kind of like if you don't go it sort of implies to me that you don't really trust your game almost and that's a huge red flag. Or the other route is that you've already been guaranteed by someone that you will be drafted by them, but that seems like an odd possibility for someone in his position.

RICHARD STAYMAN: Yeah. And teams give out multiple guarantees. They don't go, all right, we guaranteed Caleb Houstan at 20, let's not talk to anybody else. Like that's not at all what happens. I mean, I can tell you, Desmond Bane for example, was guaranteed by multiple teams in the 20s. They told him, hey, we will pick you. And what happened is they didn't account for-- I can't say which team it was, but they didn't account for this certain player falling that far. And then suddenly they didn't take him and he slid to 30. So that stuff happens all the time. It's risky to trust an NBA team to work, you know?

AMITT MANN: Sure I wanted to bring up Wendell Moore but I think he's going to be gone by then. But your thoughts on him?

RICHARD STAYMAN: I was actually-- that was going to be the last one I said too. I think his range is 20 to 35. Generally, I say 35 because I don't think he should go in the second round. I think it just varies, just very obvious. They finally got a really good team around him at Duke and he was incredible. He took a big jump. He's still young.

Actually, I think he might be younger than Chet if I'm not mistaken. He's very close in age. Like he wasn't even eligible for the draft as a freshman. So he turns 21 in September so during training camp and he's a junior. So you look at the very young player who can shoot, can pass, defend a little bit, doesn't really create on ball time. But when he has the ball in his hands, he does see the floor well. And I think someone like him, he should go to Dallas. That's literally a perfect spot.

Could go in any of those teams in the 20s. Could also see him go in the 30s just because teams are like, well, we want someone with high upside or whatever. Even though I think there is a real route to him having good upside as like a potential starter.

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