Who Should Raptors Draft?

The NBA draft lottery was held last night and Washington won the John Wall sweepstakes.

The Toronto Raptors will be picking 13th.

First off – just imagine the season the Nets just had – only to finish 3rd in the NBA Draft Lottery.  Yikes.  I know they probably wanted Wall or Turner for sure – MAYBE Turner slips to them…but I doubt it.

What will the Raptors do though?  Who should they take?  Below I will add my three selections, but first I wanted to preface my choices by saying I am trying to be realistic. Obviously I would love Wall, Turner, Favors or Cousins to fall to the raptors but it won’t happen.

I am also assuming Bosh is leaving.  Although it makes me sad, it might be time to part ways.  I am not sure the Raptors will have much of a choice – it seems like Bosh is ready to leave whether Raps want it or not.

So that said here are my top three choices for raptors on draft night:

1. Hassan Whiteside – Marshall (Center, 6-11, 225lbs)

Alright this guy is definitely a shot in the dark.  He has personality issues and big men are always a bit of a project.  What is his upside?  Think if Marcus Camby was healthy all the time.

He is an insane shot blocking presence – averaged something like 5.7 a game in College and he can run the floor.  The problem is – it is a shot in the dark – he is one of the biggest high risk- high reward players in the draft. I think since Raptors are (most likely) losing their all star, and picking all the way in 13th, they might as well swing for the fences.

Fit on Raptors: I think he is a great fit if Bosh leaves. If he pans out you can move Bargnani to the 4 spot.  When you have big contracts tied to front court pieces like Bargs and Hedo – you need a big shot blocking presence at center.

2. Quincy Pondexter – Washington (SF, 6-7, 220lbs)

This is my reach.  Most drafts have Pondexter as a borderline 1st round pick – near the end, maybe the 2nd round even.  I think he is better than that actually.  I will admit, I saw him play more than others on this list so maybe I am biased.

He needs to work on his jump shot – but that is something I think can always get better with practice. In fact his shot has gotten better through his years in College. He is a great athlete – and the Raps could use an injection of athleticism.  You can make an argument he is the best senior in the draft (top 3 for sure) so that should mean he is ready to contribute.

Fit on Raptors: Well this might be tough since we are paying Hedo a ton of money to play the same position…Pondexter could play SG too but I am sure the Raps would like to find out what they have in DeRozan.

Position wise he isn’t an ideal fit for Toronto, but I think this might be good to send Hedo a message.  It was obvious Hedo didn’t care about basketball too much last year. If it means winning – then Hedo can  collect his money on the bench.

Some people would argue that having Pondexter and Weems as SF backups is redundant – but I think Pondexter could back up DeMar no problem as well.  He can definitely be fit into the rotation and are the Raptors without Bosh in any position to be picky on position? Ideally Colangelo could prove his worth by somehow performing a miracle and getting rid of Hedo altogether.

3. Avery Bradley – Texas (SG, 6-3, 180)

I didn’t know much about this guy until I saw ESPN had him listed as going to the Raptors in their mock draft.  I though it was weird drafting a SG with Derozan there, but it seems like Avery is actually projected as a PG in the NBA.

He is very athletic, has a great shot and most importantly he can get to the net and can create for himself – Raptors sometimes lack that.  He is also solid defensively.  The Raptors have to think about defense in this draft – it is such a glaring weakness.

Fit On Raptors: BUT ZOMG RAPS HAVE 2 GOOD PGS!  Ok yeah the Raptors hae an OK point guard situation.  The one thing they miss though is a PG (like Ford when he was a Raptor) that can really break down the defense.  They could also use someone that can create there own shot. Avery can address both of these issues.

More importantly though – I think the Raptors have a small window of opportunity to trade Calderon.  Yes his defense is horrible and his contract is pretty bad – but I don’t think he is completely devoid of value.  It would probably be a situation where Raps had to unload him for very little in return besides the salary relief.

If they drafted Avery, trading Calderon would be the smart move.  You start Jack who proved his worth last year, and you can have Avery back him up.  It is a talent drop off initially, but if Bosh leaves Raptors are rebuilding anyways.  Plus with Averys length alone you already have a better PG tandem from a defensive standpoint.

Those are my top three picks for the Raptors.  I know Pondexter is a reach at this point – but I really like his game.  Picking 13th is a pretty rough spot – especially if Rap lose their all star PF Bosh.

It could be a long rebuilding road for the Raptors so getting this pick right would be a nice start.



  • Yeahhh

    1)sign and trade with chris bosh and get great additions
    2) trade turkoglu and calderon and get great additions
    3) get the best player possible at 13th pick

    I think raptors will be a great team if this happens. Hope Coangelo does something amazing for next year.

  • Yeahhh

    Raptors should try to trade up and draft cousins. He will be a great fit for the raptors. He's what the raptors need right now.

  • Yeah Cousins would be nice...I know a lot of people complain about his attitude and some people question his drive though. I would still love if the Raps traded up and were able to snag him.

  • Silky

    wow all bad picks we need to pick up paul george or xaiver henry insted of picking for team needs we need to pick up a player with the most talent at 13 period paul george would give us a good sf then we can trade bosh for a draft pick hopefully and big up a big man

  • I left off George and Xavier because I think they will be gone unfortunately. If they slip I wouldn't mind one of them at all.

    Avery Bradley is not a bad pick at all though - and I am not sure what to tell you if you think that.

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