The Toronto Raptors have made their first roster addition in what projects to be a hectic couple of weeks ahead. With the 29th overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors have selected Malachi Flynn out of San Diego State.
After playing his first two college seasons with Washington State, Flynn subsequently transferred to San Diego, where his productivity would elevate even further. Flynn has a quick first step, and is a great passer in the pick and roll. As a four-year college player, he plays with a ton of maturity, and has a great feel for the game.
Arguably the most impressive part of Flynn’s skillset is his ability to shoot the ball. In his freshman season, Flynn shot a blistering 38.7% from deep, and in his senior year, hit 37.3% of his 6.4 looks from deep per game. In his final year of school, Flynn averaged 17.8 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 5.1 assists. His frame is rather wiry, at 6’2 and weighing just 175 pounds, however he will be able to add strength as his NBA career progresses.
Because of his smaller size and limited strength, Flynn is not a very versatile defender, however he moves his feet well laterally on the perimeter, and loves to jump passing lanes. This is illustrated through his career 1.3 steals per game. Much like Fred VanVleet, he negates his lack of size with an overload of toughness and aggressiveness on that end of the floor, which we know the Raptors love to see in their young prospects.
Drafting Flynn is not necessarily an indication that VanVleet will leave in free agency. Even if VanVleet stays, the Raptors will need a backup point guard, and there will be minutes for Flynn to earn off the bench, assuming that Terence Davis is not with the team next year. A backcourt combination of Flynn and Matt Thomas off the bench would provide a plethora of shooting and offense for a team that struggled offensively during the latter half of the 2019-2020 season.
Overall, Flynn is a great pick at 29. He’s smart, he has a strong work ethic, and knowing the Raptors front office, he will probably be an All-Star at some point in his career.