Toronto Raptors praised for drafting Miami basketball alum Dewan Hernandez

DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Dewan Huell
DALLAS, TX - MARCH 15: Dewan Huell /
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Hernandez was overwhelmed with emotion as he was drafted. It has been a long road for him to the NBA with the adversity he had to deal with last season.

Hernandez spoke to Michelle Kaufman of the Miami Herald

to discuss his feelings.

"“You get to like 55 and think, `Oh, I’m probably going to go undrafted.’ That’s what was going through my head. When it got to 59, and they said, `Dewan Hernandez’, I just broke down when I heard my name. I’ve been through so much, so to have this accomplished was overwhelming. “I knew if I worked hard, this day could happen, and I had two great opportunities to showcase my skills.”"

Hernandez and the Raptors received a lot of praise after he was selected by the NBA Champions. Most draft experts considered Hernandez a first-round pick if he had played during the 2018-19 season. Hernandez would have been the centerpiece of the Miami basketball team this past season with point guard Chris Lykes.

Miami basketball head coach Jim Larranaga praised Hernandez’s improvement on the offensive end last fall. He was expected to become more of a versatile scorer for the Hurricanes in 2018-19. Larranaga said that Hernandez had developed range to the three-point line.

Hernandez reiterated Larranaga’s observation

about his offensive game to Christy Chirinos of the Sun Sentinel.

"“I just wanted to get better all around. Everything — shooting, dribbling, post game, face-up, everything. I’m a much better shooter.”"

ESPN analyst Jay Bilas who has been one of Hernandez’s biggest supporters throughout the process of the 2018-19 season praised him during the draft.

"“He’s a really good player and I’m glad to see him get drafted because he has been through an absolute nightmare that was not of his making and that he did not deserve.”"

Hernandez heads to Toronto to a mostly young Raptors core with an uncertain future. Leonard’s decision in free agency this summer will dictate the crowds at Jurrasic park in the future. Hernandez and Pascal Siakam could give Toronto a versatile, big and athletic center/forward tandem in the future.