SG/SF Florida State Dwayne Bacon 6’7” 220 6’10” wingspan
Player Comparison: Josh Richardson/ Lance Stephenson/ Kentavious Caldwell Pope
Why here: The Raptors have no offensive creators when Derozan and Lowry step off the court. Their other swings Carroll and Powell have defensive first identities, but lack the ability to defend stronger offensive players. Bacon will be a strong change of pace wing that can create offense while being coherent on defense. The Raptors have made strides in recent years, but still lack depth in terms of scorers—hopefully Bacon answers these qualms.
Strengths: An athletic and feisty wing, Bacon is a proliferous scorer with agreat defensive baseline. Somewhat explosive off the dribble, and can get up in tight spaces… highlight dunk threat… finishes through contact… plays above the rim… has patience in the air… great body control off dribble drive. Impressive converter in transition… turns defenders with speed and average handle… changes speeds well… keeps dribble in tight spaces… gets to rim with ease… fills lanes well when moving without ball. Played lots of PG in big FSU lineups, where he was impressive as scorer and p&r facilitator… didn’t show tons of coherence as a passer but had some highlights. Reads defenses well… attacks closeouts… takes advantages of mismatches… intimidating with a full head of steam. Is creative around the rim with tricky angles and finesse finishes. Dependable when he gets defender on his hip. Competent foul drawer… good FT rate around 30%… impressive and one finisher.
Projects to be strong jumpshooter… uses quick first step and hesi’s to make space for pull-ups(lots of pull-ups)… best off self creation although he shows promise as a catch and shoot threat… makes very difficult shots. Weak 31% three is deceiving—lots of stagnant offense resulted in forced shot attempts as shot clock wind down/early inefficiency drags down improvements. Appears to have range past NBA three. Has sound floater and runner which he puts up with confidence. Seems to thrive in the mid range… uses fade aways and stepbacks to create space… not a ton of turn arounds but has been promising with small sample size… uses screens well as a shooter.
Very physical defender when motivated… good size and length for the two, allowing for imposing shot contests and corralling of ball handlers… can guard down and up a position, but will shift up to the three more often. Sits down and fights through screens… doesn’t bite on hesitation dribbles and shot fakes. Sometimes gets involved in passing lanes with intercepted feeds, but not frequently enough.
Rip rebounder… boxes out with good fundamentals… gets hands on lots of bounces… can rebound and shift quickly into transition ball handler. Mostly a defensive rebounder, as his spacing on offense often place him away from the hoop.
Weaknesses: Is 21 approaching 22. Doesn’t have highest IQ on either end.
Although he has a clear defensive foundation and a high ceiling on that end of the court, he often lacked motivation and effort to make plays on D. This is presumably warranted by poor coaching at FSU and too long of chain on the court. With the right direction and motivation he has the tools to be a potent defender. His footwork could use improvements on the defensive end as well… sometimes stumbles over own feet. Wasn’t a noticeable help defender, but again that can be attributed to his lack of direction. Gambles and takes risks too often, although it wasn’t really reflected with bad fouls. Depends on help defense too much… lets ball handlers by to attempt poking wrap arounds. Sometimes loses his man.
Needs to improve basic guard skills… lacks a diverse dribbling arsenal… passing vision is limited. His lack of guard skills make him predictable against stronger defenses, so it could be tricky for him to get to the hoop at the next level. Lots of movement with his layups (double clutches/jelly rolls)… makes easy finishes way harder than necessary. Despite explosiveness in transition and when he gets downhill, he lacks the ability to blow up off half court dribble drives.
Tends to settle for contested jumpers in halfcourt sets, while on the opposite side he sometimes pushes the ball too much in transition. His shooting sees lots of slumps, but a game consisting of difficult shot attempts warrants that. Struggles with catch and shoot opportunities, even when open.
Outlook: Sliding Bacon off the bench to sizzle as a scorer in the second unit will help free up the Raptors’ stagnancy. Although scouts has expressed doubt in his ability to develop dependability as an NBA scorer, I see no reasons his skills cannot grow with the transition. Dwayne Casey will help his namesake get the proper instruction and opportunity to strengthen his game.
Random Prediction: 2x 6th man of the year (2020/2022). Plays with broken hand in 2018 playoffs.