The Toronto Raptors have the 59th pick in the NBA draft. Who are some prospects they could target with that selection?
For the second year in a row, the Toronto Raptors do not have a first-round pick. Over the last three years, the Raptors have used their own first-round picks to add established veteran players, rather than employ them on draft day.
On February 14, 2017, the Raptors sent Terrence Ross and their own 2017 first-round pick to the Orlando Magic in exchange for Serge Ibaka. However, the Raptors had previously acquired the Los Angeles Clippers’ 2017 first-rounder and were still able to select OG Anunoby 23rd overall.
The Raptors’ 2018 first-round pick was sent to the Brooklyn Nets in order to facilitate a salary dump. By agreeing to take on the final two years and $30 million remaining on DeMarre Carroll’s contract the Nets were rewarded with the pick.
Finally, Toronto’s 2019 first-round pick was sent to the San Antonio Spurs (top 20 protected) as part of the Kawhi Leonard trade.
Seeing as the Toronto Raptors just won their first ever NBA Championship, it seems like these trades have worked out. Leonard and Ibaka were both key contributors for the team this season.
Even though Pascal Siakam, a late first-round pick, has blossomed into a star, Leonard and Ibaka have likely provided more value than whoever the Raptors would have selected at the end of the first round of the draft.
The NBA Draft is set for June 20th. Barring a trade, interested Raptors fans will be in for a long night, uneventful night. The team currently does not pick until no. 59 overall.
Assuming the Raptors are able to resign Leonard and keep their core together, whoever is selected is unlikely to play a significant role next season. Still, it is possible to find quality players towards the end of the draft.
Manu Ginobili was selected 57th overall in 1999. Isaiah Thomas was the 60th overall pick in 2011. Danny Green (46) and Marc Gasol (48) were both second-round picks, whereas Fred VanVleet went undrafted.
Here are a few players the Raptors should target in this week’s draft: