The Toronto Raptors head into tonight’s NBA Draft with one pick-23rd overall in the first round. With key free agents going into the off-season, Toronto will need to find a piece that fits their current situation in this upcoming draft.
It is looking more and more likely that Kyle Lowry will not resign with the team. Patrick Patterson and P.J. Tucker are likely out as well. Serge Ibaka’s status is still up in the air, but according to reports, he could resign with the Raptors.
If the Raptors do not plan on resigning any of the three big men then a SF or PF could be the pick that they make tonight.
Do not rule out the Raptors taking a PG either, if they like who is available at the time.
Here are some players I think the Toronto Raptors should target.
Harry Giles, Duke
Giles has had injury problems thus far, but scouts love his upside and think he could potentially be a steal. Giles stands at 6’11 with a wingspan of 7’3 which will have team interested in selecting him. He is still raw offensively, however, he can crash the boards even though he averaged fewer than four rebounds a game at Duke. If he can find his offensive game, he could very well be a steal in this year’s draft. With the double teams that DeRozan will see, Giles would get his chance to showcase his offensive side. Still needs to work on post skills.
Ivan Rabb, California
He could have been a top 10 pick if he declared last year, but he stayed at California which was a wise decision. Rabb’s rebounding, above all, would help a Raptors team that ranked 18th in that category last season. He could possibly have trouble scoring inside with his lanky frame, so adding on weight/muscle is a must. Scoring outside is a problem for him as well, so working on his jumper and inside game is an obligation, if he were to be successful.
TJ Leaf, UCLA
Could replace Patterson as the back-up PF, if he is not back with the Raptors. Apart from Ball, Leaf was the second best player for the UCLA Bruins. He shot a high percentage (61%) from the field and made almost 47% of his threes even though he did not shoot many. Really uses his craftiness to get to the offensive boards. If he can consistently hit the three, he would be a great stretch four in the NBA.
Wesley Iwundu, Kansas State
Excellent size for a guard/forward and his 7’1 wingspan gives him the potential to be a great defensive player. He averaged a career high 2.4 three point attempts per game and converted on 38% of them which shows that he is expanding his game. He is a great rebounder for his 6’7 height (6.3 RPG). Has the ability to handle the ball as well.
Semi Ojeleye, SMU
Racked up a ton of minutes for an SMU team that played six deep on most nights. Showed the ability to score and finish in and around the basket. Probably more suited to play as a SF in the NBA.
Frank Jackson, Duke
One of the fastest and most athletic players in this draft. If the Raptors take a PG and make Fred VanVleet or Delon Wright expendable, Jackson could be a solid pick-up to play behind Cory Joseph
Tyler Lydon, Syracuse
Another solid three point shooter who should stretch out the defense. Could become a good 3 and D guy if works on his defense. Can he find other ways to score, apart from the three point shot?
OG Anunoby, Indiana
A great defender, but needs to work on his offensive game. Teams could shy away due to his knee injury. Would still be a good player to gamble on, in my opinion.
Trade the pick
If the Toronto Raptors feel that they cannot improve their team with the players on the board prior to the pick, look for them to possible move down, or to package the pick and a player for a future draft choice.
Ogi is a graduate of Humber College’s Sport Management program. He is the founder of Blago Blogger Sports.