The Toronto Raptors own the 29th pick at the 2020 NBA Draft being held on November 18th. This year’s draft is considered weak, and the Toronto Raptors could trade out of the first round.
The Toronto Raptors have been a serious contender for the NBA Championship for seven consecutive years. They claimed the title in 2019 for the first time in franchise history but failed to repeat the feat in 2020.
Their impressive win-loss record in 2020 has them selecting 29th overall at the 2020 NBA Draft. The talent choices may not provide the help a veteran team like the Toronto Raptors needs. There have been rumors about Toronto moving up in the draft, but they could trade right out of the first-round as well.
One scenario that could help the Toronto Raptors on many levels is to send the 29th selection to the New York Knicks in exchange for backup center Mitchell Robinson. He has been in the NBA for two seasons.
Mitchell Robinson averaged 9.7 points and 7 rebounds in 61 games in the 2019/20 season. At age 22, he is a seven-foot 240-pound center and could fill a need the Toronto Raptors have this off-season.
For those who believe that the Toronto Raptors should pursue the services of Giannis Antetokounmpo, a free agent next summer, a deal to acquire Mitchell Robinson helps the Toronto Raptors financial flexibility in order to pursue the two-time league MVP.
The 29th draft pick comes with a cap hit of 1.6 and 1.7 million dollars in each of the first two years and is a guaranteed four-year contract. Mitchell Robinson has two seasons on his current contract at 1.6 and 1.8 million dollars with a second-year team option.
This deal would save the Toronto Raptors potentially three years of salary cap hits should the Raptors decline the team option on Mitchell Robinson’s contract. Regardless of how Mitchell Robinson may perform on the court, the Raptors could shed his salary to help pay the “Greek Freak” next summer.
Either way, Mitchell Robinson’s contract is a manageable one since it’s still unknown what the salary cap will be for the coming season, so teams need to fill their open roster spots at reasonable rates. Toronto also has a glaring need at their center position as both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol are free agents and only one, Serge Ibaka, is likely to return.
How does Mitchell Robinson fit the Toronto Raptors’ plans?
The Toronto Raptors could be revamping the players at their center position this off-season. If COVID-19 financial losses force the NBA to lower the salary cap level, the Toronto Raptors will need less expensive options than the near 50 million they spent on the center position in 2020.
Mitchell Robinson fits the bill financially. Performance-wise he would be an upgrade to Marc Gasol’s abysmal offensive stats. In 2020, Mitchell Robinson averaged 23.1 minutes and 9.7 points per game. As a backup, he produced more points in fewer minutes than Marc Gasol received in 2020. He would be a fine backup to Serge Ibaka in 2020/21.
There is also Mitchell Robinson’s ability to be a prolific rim protector. To date, Robinson is averaging 2.2 blocked shots a game in his career. He is extremely athletic and has a seven-foot-four inch wingspan. His 72 percent field goal average is outstanding and the Toronto Raptors could use a consistent scorer around the basket as they were just 21st in 2020 scoring points in the paint.
As a contending team, the Toronto Raptors management team of Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster may prefer to add talent that can help the team win now rather than draft a long-term project. The 2020 NBA Draft is not likely to provide a repeat of the 2016 and 2017 Drafts when Toronto selected Pascal Siakam 27th and OG Anunoby 23rd overall.
Mitchell Robinson is still far from being a finished product, but he has shown enough skill at the NBA level and could help the Toronto Raptors.