This Toronto Raptors draft could end up with the squad drafting a potential successor to Kyle Lowry, a new starting center, or some wing help on a team looking to bounce back after a moribund season. However, if the front office wants to draft a safe player that could contribute immediately, look for them to take a look at Gonzaga standout Corey Kispert.
Jalen Suggs might be a Top 5 lock, and Drew Timme was the leading scorer, but the experienced Kispert was an invaluable asset to have on a Bulldogs team that was one game short of a perfect season. The “3-and-D” wing archetype is becoming more commonplace in the NBA, and Kispert exemplifies that style of play as well as anyone in this class.
Kispert will likely end up in the lottery, as a three-year starter with his scoring production in college will have plenty of appeal for both rebuilding and retooling teams alike.
Would he fit in with what the Raptors want to do considering the fact he has some noteworthy flaws? Ultimately, those criticisms of his game aren’t deal-breakers, and he is one of the better prospects in this class.
Toronto Raptors draft: Corey Kispert strengths
Kispert might be the best put shooter in this class, having drained 44% of his 3-point attempts while attempting just under seven per game. With some of Toronto scorers attracting most of the defensive attention, Kispert should be in line for plenty of wide-open looks.
At 220 pounds, Kispert isn’t like a stringy wing that will struggle if backed down into the post. On either side of the ball, Kispert has shown that he can sustain contact and physicality in order to either finish at the rim or come up with a key stop.
While a solid on-ball defender, what really stands out is his ability to defend off the ball. When that effort and tenacity are paired with a high basketball IQ and a 2.8 assist to turnover ratio, you get a player that checks so many of Nick Nurse’s boxes.
Toronto Raptors draft: Corey Kispert weaknesses
Ultimately, Kispert’s biggest barrier to success in the NBA will be his physical stature. With subpar length and a lack of explosive athletic ability, there are some concerns about how his defense will translate.
On offense, Kispert will need to work on generating for himself when he isn’t given wide-open looks. Can he improve his ability to score off of the dribble and improve his ability to handle the ball?
How would Corey Kispert fit with the Toronto Raptors?
Kispert could earn minutes right away, as a solid defender with perhaps the best shooting touch in the entire draft class is worthy of some time from the jump. He might not start right away depending on who the Raptors bring back, but he should be an instant impact player on this squad.
Kispert is going to need some time to adjust to the speed of the NBA, but everything about his player profile suggests that he will be one of the safer options in this draft. If the Raptors want to snipe teams to death from the perimeter, then game on. Let’s do this.