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RaptorsHQ’s Toronto Raptors 2024 NBA Draft Day Primer

Toronto Raptors Media Day
Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Mock drafts, workout list, draft insights, and more! It’s your unofficial Toronto Raptors cheat sheet for tonight’s draft.

We’re hours away from the 2024 NBA Draft, and it’s time to review all the information relevant to Toronto Raptors’ draft activity for the next two days. Armed with the 19th and 31st picks, Raptors President Masai Ujiri, GM Bobby Webster, and Assistant GM Dan Tolzman have an opportunity to improve the team’s roster. Tonight is the culmination of all the hard work of the Raptors’ scouting and prospect evaluation team, and we will see if they can surround Scottie Barnes with better and complementary players during these two draft days.

Draft days?

The 2024 NBA Draft kicks off at 8 PM EST. But wait, that’s only the first round, as Adam Silver will call it a night after the 30th pick, and the draft will reconvene the following day at 4 PM EST to give Deputy Commissioner Mark Tatum more air time. Also call it the “Nikola Jokic Taco Bell rule” so that it’s not embarassing for the NBA to have their future MVP’s draft highlights consist of a TV ad.

Between the two picks, the Raptors can fill a couple of holes — whether it’s shooting, perimeter defense, adding more length, or playmaking. The Raptors front office can also do more than drafting starting tonight, as they have some trade chips that they can potentially use, like Bruce Brown, Jakob Poeltl, and Chris Boucher’s contracts.

What should the Raptors’ war room do tonight? Stay put? Move the picks? Move around the draft? Make trades? Hold a bidding war for the 31st and backout at the last minute and hurt the other GMs’ feelings?

But before that, let’s look at the Raptors’ depth chart.

Depth Chart

Guards: Immanuel Quickley, Gradey Dick, Bruce Brown, Javon Freeman-Liberty, DJ Carton (2W)

Wings: Scottie Barnes, RJ Barrett, Jalen McDaniels, Ochai Agbaji

Bigs: Jakob Poeltl, Kelly Olynyk, Chris Boucher

Free Agents: Immanuel Quickley, Gary Trent Jr., Garrett Temple, Jordan Nwora, Malik Williams

Team Needs

The Raptors have five free agents, with only Immanuel Quickley likely locked in to return. That gives the Raptors a young core of Quickley, Scottie Barnes, Gradey Dick, and RJ Barrett. Ochai Agbaji is probably under evaluation this season.

As we saw this past season, Chris Boucher is not part of the Raptors’ future. Kelly Olynyk will probably stick around to help usher in the new Raptors era; Bruce Brown is a trade chip, while Jakob Poeltl’s timeline no longer matches this young core. Plus, the team is getting expensive, so they’ll need to start turning into young players at some of these roles/positions to keep the cost down. Remember that this Raptors ownership is susceptible to anaphylactic shock whenever the team is in the luxury tax range.

Based on the various mock boards, the prospects pegged for the 19th pick range from guards to wings to bigs, with varying skill sets in point guard play, shooting, and paint protection. In hindsight, the Raptors could use a backup point guard or a combo guard. The team needs floor spacing, with Gradey Dick and Quickley as the only shooters on this team. The Raptors also need a point-of-attack defense, defensive length and size, oh, and they could use a big as well, preferably someone that fits coach Darko Rajakovic’s offence.

Reading that last part, the bottom line is that the Raptors’ biggest need is talent. Plenty of talent.

Two-Way Contract Targets

This part is a bit tricky, as the Raptors don’t have a mid—or late-second-round pick. If the front office can secure another second-round pick — historically, they haven’t done this during draft night, but this new 2-day format can change things — then they can have better options on potential Two-Way Contract prospects. Otherwise, they’ll have to negotiate with the rookie undrafted free agents immediately after the draft ;)

Some prospects to keep an eye on:

  • Ulrich Chomche, Wing: Mystery box
  • Pelle Larsson, Guard: Shooter
  • Harrison Ingram, Wing: 3+D
  • Keshad Johnson, Wing: 3+D
  • KJ Simpson, Guard: Combo Guard
  • Juan Nunez, Guard: Backup PG
  • Jaylen Wells, Wing: 3+D
  • PJ Hall, Big: Energy big
  • Trentyn Flowers, Guard: Jumbo Guard
  • Cam Spencer, Guard: Shooter

With the Raptors waiving Mo Gueye yesterday, they now have two Two-Way contract roster spots available.

31st Pick Shortlist

Looking at Hoopshype’s Aggregate Mock Draft posted a couple of days ago, the potential shortlist could include:

  • Ryan Dunn
  • Kyle Filipowski
  • Baylor Scheierman
  • Tyler Smith
  • Jaylon Tyson
  • Terrence Shannon Jr.
  • Pacome Dadiet
  • Cam Christie
  • Bobi Klintman
  • AJ Johnson
  • Nikola Djurisic
  • Jonathan Mogbo

We did a mini-profile on three prospects: Baylor Scheierman, Bobi Klintman, and Ryan Dunn, who fill different needs. If I would rank the list above from Hoopshype, here’s my mini-big board at 31st pick:

  1. Tyler Smith
  2. Pacome Dadiet
  3. Ryan Dunn
  4. Baylor Scheierman
  5. Bobi Klintman
  6. Kyle Filipowski
  7. Jaylon Tyson
  8. Jonathan Mogbo
  9. Terrence Shannon Jr.
  10. Nikola Djurisic

I doubt that Tyler Smith will be available when the Raptors are on the clock at the 31st pick, while Ryan Dunn’s stock is rising due to improved shooting based on his recent workouts. Of course, this is a big board and may not necessarily be how I would select for the 31st pick. It will depend on who I select on the 19th to balance things out. For example, I can’t have the 19th and 31st picks projected to play their entire season with the Raptors 905.

I participated in the SB Nation NBA writers’ mock draft, and while it’s only for the first round, it gave me a good platform to see who could still be available. Dunn, Smith, Scheierman, and Filipowski all went in the first round, leaving me with Dadiet, Klintman, Tyson, etc., as options for the 31st pick. Read more on the thought process here.

19th Pick Shortlist

On ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s most recent update: Carrington, Da Silva, Edey, Ryan Dunn, Isaiah Collier are some of the names rival teams have suggested might be in play here, as well. According to Hoopshype’s workout tracker, Edey and Da Silva worked out with the Raptors, but we don’t know whether Collier or Dunn did. “Flat draft” is one of the most cliched and overused terms in this draft cycle, and it perfectly sums up the prospects at the Raptors’ range. I have no objection to the Raptors picking one over the other from the names below. Heck, if the front office calls for Dunn or anyone mocked in the late 20s/early 30s with the 19th pick, I might be disappointed for a second, but I can easily talk myself into the selection.

Isaiah Collier: Collier is a lottery-type talent whose draft stock fell after a disastrous freshman year at USC. The mess is not his fault, but he was not able to carry the load or showcase his best as a Trojan.

Zach Edey: The most decorated collegiate athlete in recent memory, Edey’s size intrigues and scares many draft analysts. Hence, his range is anywhere from mid-lottery to late first round.

Kyshawn George: George’s name has recently been linked to the Raptors, so several mocks have him landing in Toronto for the 19th spot. His size, shooting, and positional versatility make him one of this draft’s mystery boxes.

Ja’Kobe Walter: Walter’s name is gaining traction in some mock drafts as the Raptors’ 19th pick, mainly because his stock has slipped since the NCAA tournament.

Tidjane Salaun: Salaun is the youngest prospect in this draft, and his combination of size, length, versatility, and skill set makes him the biggest mystery box in the lottery range. That part alone will make it hard for some teams to pass up on him, especially if they can afford to burn a pick on this big swing.

Carlton Carrington: One of my favourite prospects in this range, Carrington is the second-youngest prospect in this draft and could be an overlooked lottery talent.

Kel’el Ware: One of the most polarizing prospects in this draft, Ware has the physical tools and talent to be a lottery pick, but his reputation has cost him and has taken him out of the lottery range. However, his redemption arc at Indiana University says something, and I picked him on SB Nation NBA writers’ mock draft.

Johnny Furphy: Furphy’s got size and shooting, but he’s a project at this point. Plus, the Raptors have a better version of him.

DaRon Holmes II: Low-risk, high-reward. Holmes II is a sleeper pick for the Raptors if they want a big complement to their young core.

Tristan Da Silva: One of my favourite prospects in this draft, Da Silva brings a lot of intangibles to the table on top of his skill set. This is why many teams at the back half of the lottery are interested in him, but he did work out with the Raptors recently. Are you saying there’s a chance???

Value Picks Outside of the Lottery

While it’s best to be somewhere in the lottery, some of the best players entered the league without getting the Green Room invite or didn’t even attend the draft because they didn’t think they’d be selected high enough. With the Raptors picking 19th and 31st, they are at the mercy of the teams ahead of them and hope that the players they value more are less valued by the teams picking first. If anything, the list below shows tons of value outside of the lottery. If they get the right prospect and developmental system, they can find diamonds in the rough, like Pascal Siakam, Nikola Jokic, and Jalen Brunson. Here’s a look at some of the prospects that were available at the 19th spot over the last 10 drafts:

  • 2014-15: Bruno Caboclo (kidding!), Clint Capela (25), Jerami Grant (39), Nikola Jokic (41)
  • 2015-16: Delon Wright (20), Bobby Portis (22), Kevon Looney (30)
  • 2016-17: Caris LeVert (20), Pascal Siakam (27), Dejounte Murray (29)
  • 2017-18: Jarrett Allen (22), OG Anunoby (23), Kyle Kuzma (27)
  • 2018-19: Kevin Huerter (19), Anfernee Simons (24), Jalen Brunson (33)
  • 2019-20: Brandon Clarke (21), Jordan Poole (28), Keldon Johnson (29)
  • 2020-21: Tyrese Maxey (21), Immanuel Quickley (25), Malachi Flynn (kidding!), Desmond Bane (30)
  • 2021-22: Jalen Johnson (20), Cam Thomas (27), Herb Jones (35)
  • 2022-23: Walker Kessler (22), Nikola Jovic (27), Andrew Nembhard (31)
  • 2023-24: Brandin Podziemski (19), Cam Whitmore (20), GG Jackson (45)

What should the Raptors do on draft night(s)?

Stay Put: use 19th and 31st picks on future role players and call it a day. Scour the bargain bin for Two-Way Contract prospects.

Trade Bruce Brown: The Raptors can pick up Brown’s option and use it as a trade chip during draft night to acquire assets and perhaps a pick or two.

Move up in the draft: The Raptors have some assets that should allow them to move up. I mean, why would the Raptors work out Tristan Da Silva? Hello, OKC, Memphis ;)

Trade out of the 19th: If their guy at 19th is no longer available, they can put the 19th up for a bidding war and get a later pick and/or possibly future picks in the process.

Put the 31st pick for bidding: With teams having to sleep on their 1st round decisions, it allows them to reconvene and think over the second round with clarity, unlike the past speed-dating type of selection process. There’s plenty of interest for the 31st pick. However, knowing the Raptors, they like to be the bottleneck, holding up the line only to do nothing.

Buy a second-round pick: It’s very unlikely to happen, but it’s there. Some teams are looking to unload their mid/late second-round picks.

Mock Draft Roundup

(As of June 26th @ 9:00 AM EST)

We looked at over 20 different mock drafts and got ten different names. Kyshawn George, the Swiss-Canadian freshman from Miami University, got the most selections, with four boards selecting him to go to the Raptors with the 19th pick. Ja’Kobe Walter, Kel’el Ware, and Carlton “Bub” Carrington all got three boards directing them to the Raptors.

This list is as diverse as you can get. If you need a “Modern-day big starter pack,” Ware is the guy. Zach Edey and Yves Missi are possible options if you need traditional big. Carrington, Nikola Topic, or Isaiah Collier should be able to help with ballhandling duties, while Johnny Furphy and Ron Holland can provide some scoring or shooting from the wing.

It’s interesting to see Topic, Walter, and Holland’s names here, as these three represent the potential of a projected lottery talent sliding out of the lottery. Topic’s ACL injury’s killed his value, but it’s hard to imagine him sliding past the Orlando Magic, where his father works as a “scout.” Walter’s an interesting case, as there’s a real possibility that he’s available when the Raptors are on the board. His stock has fallen, but his scoring punch is intriguing. On the other hand, Holland is a potential “DeRozan starter pack,” but a tough Ignite season bumped what was a projected top-three pick to be sliding out of the lottery range possibly.

For the 31st pick, my guy Pacome Dadiet is gaining traction here. I have him as a late 1st-round grade. Ryan Dunn’s probably out of this range, while new names like Jonathan Mogbo and Adem Bona are emerging. Bona?

Tankathon (Updated June 24th)

  • 19th pick: Isaiah Collier
  • 31st pick: Baylor Scheierman

NBADraft.NET (Updated June 26th)

  • 19th pick: Nikola Topic
  • 31st Pick: Jonathan Mogbo

ESPN (Givony) (Updated June 25th)

  • 19th pick: Kyshawn George
  • 31st Pick: Adem Bona

The Ringer (O’Connor) (Updated June 17th)

  • 19th pick: Ja’Kobe Walter
  • 31st pick: Kyle Filipowski

No Ceilings (Updated June 25th)

  • 19th pick: Ron Holland
  • 31st pick: Jonathan Mogbo (June 7th)

NBA Draft Room (Updated June 24th)

  • 19th pick: Carlton Carrington
  • 31st pick: Bobi Klintman

The Athletic (Vecenie) (Updated June 25th)

  • 19th pick: Ja’Kobe Walter
  • 31st pick: Cam Christie

Bleacher Report (Wasserman) (Updated June 26th)

  • 19th pick: Kel’el Ware
  • 31st pick: Adem Bona

USA Today - FTW (Kalbrosky) (Updated June 21st)

  • 19th pick: Kyshawn George
  • 31st pick: Jaylon Tyson

SBNation NBA Writers (JD Quirante - me!)

  • 19th pick: Kel’el Ware
  • 31st pick: Pacome Dadiet

SBNation (O’Donnell) (Updated June 26th)

  • 19th pick: Yves Missi

SportingNews (Irving) (Updated June 26th)

  • 19th pick: Carlton Carrington
  • 31st pick: Pacome Dadiet

TheScore (Updated June 25th)

  • 19th pick: Kyshawn George

NBC Sports (Johnson)

  • 19th pick: Yves Missi
  • 31st pick: Pacome Dadiet

CBS (Boone) (Updated June 26th)

  • 19th pick: Zach Edey
  • 31st pick: Justin Edwards

CBS (Various @ 19th)

  • Parrish: Johnny Furphy (Updated June 24th)
  • Cobb: Johnny Furphy (Updated June 21st)
  • Finkelstein: Kyshawn George (Updated June 24th)
  • Branham: Kel’el Ware (Updated June 21st)
  • Ward-Henninger: Ja’Kobe Walter (Updated June 21st)
  • Salerno: Carlton Carrington (Updated June 21st)

Workout List

Unofficial workout list as of June 26, 2024 per Hoopshype’s Workout Tracker:

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