Paul Watson? Paul Watson
Another player coming up the 905 G-League pipeline, I am really excited to see small forward Paul Watson boost his contributions this upcoming season.
There will be some healthy internal competition for the back-up spot behind OG, as forward DeAndre Bembry was brought in this free agency. Both players are promising depth pieces hailing from the Hawks organization, reflecting an overcrowded yet talented frontcourt in Atlanta. He formerly won a high-school state championship in Arizona, played 4-years at Fresno State, and even suited up for a professional German club overseas. Watson already proved to be quite the underrated pick-up last season for the Raptors, recording averages of 3.9 PPG, 1.9 RPG, 0.5 SPG, shooting 53% overall and 33% from three.
Having only played 70 minutes of mostly garbage-time in Toronto, Watson still managed to stand-out as an athletic defender who can score. Since arriving in Toronto’s G-League system, he’s averaged 19.0 PPG, 6.6 RPG, 0.9 BPG, 1.1 SPG, while connecting on 3.0 three-pointers per game on 42% shooting. He’s got a smooth stroke for a player standing at 6’7”, and his length paired with bounce make Watson a serious threat to get above the rim on both ends.
Praise from his teammates has started to surface through training camp, beginning with Siakam who quoted; “I think he has a good chance this year to crack the rotation and be a part of the team,” adding that “I like what he's doing, he works really hard and all off-season I've seen him put the work in and be there every single day”. This was followed by Head Coach Nick Nurse, who enthusiastically claimed to media yesterday; “Paul Watson just had a breakout day at camp”.
Although practice-videos have become the latest NBA fad, the ‘all-business’ Raptors do not seem like the type of organization to participate. So for that reason, I’ll just have to take their word on the young forward until NBA tip-off.
He’s looked great in a limited eight appearances for Toronto, and I think his development may force a few more small-ball lineups out of Coach Nurse. Competition between Bembry and Watson should provide a collective upgrade for Toronto, adding more wing depth needed to match-up teams like Boston. Watson is my personal favourite based upon training camp rumblings, his work ethic, and ability to shoot the three-pointer. He’s certainly one of many talents to watch develop this year on Toronto…
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Paul watson has alot of potential cant wait to see him in action