Updated: Jun 12
Following Tuesday night’s Draft Lottery, the Toronto Raptors hold the 13th overall selection in the upcoming NBA Draft. Toronto had a mere 1.0% chance of winning the lottery at the beginning of the night. Instead, they stay put in their pre-lottery position. 2010 was the last time Toronto held Pick 13.
The team selected Ed Davis out of North Carolina. Davis played for eight different teams over his 12-year NBA career. He competed in 176 games over three seasons with the Raptors.
With draft night roughly a month away, here are four players the Raptors should consider taking with the 13th overall pick.
Kentucky’s Cason Wallace is a highly versatile player with great ability on both sides of the ball. The 19-year-old averaged 11.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, and 4.3 assists in 32 games during the 2022-23 season. His 63 steals were fourth-most in the SEC.
Wallace’s best offensive performance of the season came in a game against Florida A&M on December 21st. He finished with 27 points (including five three-pointers), nine assists, and four steals. With Gary Trent Jr. reportedly not expected back next season, Wallace could help fill the void and provide the Raptors with more depth at guard.
2023 NCAA Champion
UConn’s Jordan Hawkins would be a great addition to the Toronto Raptors roster. The Maryland native was named 2022-23 All-Big East and NCAA All-Tournament on the way to UConn’s National Championship.
Hawkins was the Huskies’ second-best scorer averaging 16.2 points per game, and his 109 three-point field goals led the entire Big East. While his scoring stats are great, his 1.3 assists and 1.4 turnovers per game leave room for improvement as a playmaker. Toronto had the league’s third-worst three-point percentage this season with 33.5%. Hawkins should boost the team’s offensive efficiency while allowing time to grow other aspects of his game.
Another player mocked in the mid-to-late teens is Ohio State’s Brice Sensabaugh. Although starting the season on the bench, his strong play soon earned him a starting role. Sensabaugh finished the 2022-23 season with 16.3 points, 1.2 assists, and 5.4 rebounds per game.
Sensabaugh scored 20 or more points in 11 games, with his season-high (27 points) coming in January’s matchup against Iowa. He also had four games with double-digit rebounds. With Scottie Barnes seemingly set as the Raptors starting small forward, Sensabaugh would begin his professional career on the team’s second unit. He’d be a perfect fit for a team with the league’s second-lowest points off the bench this season.
Michigan’s Kobe Bufkin started all 33 games this season. Bufkin ended the season averaging 14.0 points, 2.9 assists, and 1.3 steals in 34 minutes per game. Despite lackluster defensive numbers, Bufkin makes life difficult for opposing teams.
If there’s a negative, it would be size. Bufkin is 6’4″ but weighs only 175 pounds, which is way below the league’s average of 196.87. His lack of size could cause problems getting to the rim in the NBA. Bufkin will not instantly be a franchise player for the Raptors. However, given time, the 19-year-old will provide terrific depth at the guard position.
It’s the beginning of a new era for the Toronto Raptors. The team has only had one losing season in the last ten years, but with several players not expected back next season, it’s beginning to look like a rebuild (of sorts) is on the horizon. While the team is unlikely to get an instant starter with the 13th overall selection, any of the four players above are solid options to help build a more competitive roster for the future.
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