Dewan Hernandez (No. 59)
For a team with as much unheralded talent as the Toronto Raptors‘ roster had on their way to an NBA championship, one would think their first pick of the 2019 NBA Draft would come before the 59th overall selection.
Alas, the trade that got Toronto its Finals MVP is the one that had its first round pick shipped to San Antonio — quite the trade-off indeed. The champs selected Dewan Hernandez, a 6’11” forward who took a substantial leap during his sophomore campaign at the University of Miami but hasn’t played in over a year.
In averaging 11.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game, Hernandez improved on his inaugural numbers of 5.8 points and 3.1 rebounds a night as a result of more playing time. In playing behind former late selections such as Pascal Siakam, Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol, he is sure to learn a thing or two about the value of hard work and hopefully ramp up his progress.
The selection of Hernandez isn’t likely to garner much attention. Then again, the same could be said in regards to the signing of undrafted free agent Fred VanVleet or the drafting of 2016’s 27th overall pick, Pascal Siakam. Both would go on to outplay their previous projections, enough to give Toronto some benefit of the doubt in regards to the latest project taken on.