Perhaps the player with the best long-term upside of any prospect seen in Portsmouth, and clearly the one who made the biggest jump in draft stock comparing where he started and ended the camp, Mikhail Torrance
had an excellent week any way you slice it.
Torrance has great physical tools for either guard position, standing 6-5, with a nice frame, long arms and excellent athleticism. He did a great job putting pressure on the defense all week long, getting to the basket time after time with his powerful long strides and showing terrific creativity running the pick and roll and finding the open man off the dribble. The fairly wide open nature of this setting benefited him greatly, as he looked very comfortable showing off his passing skills and terrific court vision and was able to make some very impressive plays in every game he played.
The aggressive slashing mentality Torrance showsrarely will he hesitate to take the ball to the basket with a full head of steamcombined with his size and quickness make him very intriguing prospect in todays NBA. He collected a large number of assists and got to the free throw line at a great rate, helping negate the fact that hes not a great finisher around the basket.
He dishes the ball in a variety of ways, be it with fancy bounce passes, creative lobs, bullets through the teeth of the defense, or simple, fundamental kickouts. A willing distributor, its fairly rare to see a converted wing player embrace the point guard position so thoroughly, as the talent he shows passing the ball is clearly innate.
Fairly turnover prone, Torrance coughs the ball up a lot more than youd hope, at times stretching the limit of his creativity and at times simply making unforced errors that hint at his inexperience running the position.
A very unorthodox player, Torrance drives left almost exclusively (77% of his drives go in this direction according to Synergy Sports Technology) despite the fact that hes right-handed. He looks highly uncomfortable finishing with his right hand around the basket, often switching awkwardly to his left even when the play doesnt call for it. With that said, he shoots jumpers and free throws with his right hand, and when asked which one he prefers, jokingly says that it depends on what day it is.
As a shooter, Torrance is improvable, particularly in catch and shoot situations, where hes not particularly consistent. He has excellent shooting mechanics, getting very nice elevation on his jump-shot and being able to create separation nicely from his defender in the mid-range area in particular, but can still improve his consistency, which would benefit him greatly. At his size, hell likely be asked to spend some time playing off the ball as well, so it would benefit him to show that he can be relied upon as a spot-up threat.
Defensively, Torrance has excellent potential thanks to his size, length and lateral quickness, but his average fundamentals render him not as effective as he could be in this area. He often looks too upright in his stance and gets beat off the dribble more than youd like, swiping at the ball and gambling in the passing lanes more than youd like him to. Better coaching and more experience could make him an excellent defender in time if hes willing to put his mind to it, and considering his likely role-player status, could be the difference between being a rotation player and not sticking in the NBA at all.
All in all, Torrance is an intriguing prospect that came out of this camp with quite a bit of buzz thanks to his excellent performance. He went through quite a bit of turmoil in his four years at Alabama, with coaching changes, a rotating door of players and especially point guards coming in and out of the program, and very little to show for it in terms of his win-loss record in turn. With that said, players with his size, athleticism and versatility can add a lot of versatility to an NBA teams backcourt, especially those with undersized combo guard types at the 2, and while hes clearly not a finished product, he seems to have a good amount of potential to continue to improve down the road.