The Toronto Raptors are just days away from the 2021 NBA Draft, which would potentially feature the franchise’s highest pick in over a decade at No. 4 overall. The Raptors could do as expected, select Gonzaga point guard Jalen Suggs, and call it a day, but the draft rarely is that milquetoast at the top.
The Raptors should brace for a night full of unexpected trades, as teams stuck in the basement will try anything and everything to regroup, add some star power, and attempt to climb into the postseason.
Toronto has been linked to some of the biggest trade targets in the game, but they won’t be the only team looking to move around the draft board in order to either secure new long-term building blocks or make win-now moves.
If any of these 3 scenarios come to fruition, the Raptors may find their plan to spring right back into the postseason even harder to complete. Be it division rivals making moves, potential trade acquisitions disappearing, or draft missteps, let’s hope none of these become reality.
3 nightmare NBA Draft scenarios for the Toronto Raptors.
3. The Knicks trade up
The Knicks are well ahead of schedule in their rebuild, as they ended up with the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference on the back of some bone-crunching Tom Thibodeau defense and Julius Randle’s emergence as a star. With the Nets and 76ers well clear of the rest of the division, Toronto needs to be nervous about New York and Boston making improvements.
The Knicks have the 19th and 21st selections in the draft thanks to the Kristaps Porzingis trade with the Mavericks, and SNY is reporting that New York may be exploring ways to move up in the draft. Toronto is fresh off a last-place finish, and it would be a complete disaster if one of their division competitors took such a huge leap forward.
The Knicks being aggressive is bad news for the Toronto Raptors
With oodles of cap space this offseason, the Knicks will likely try to sign all of the star players that end up hitting free agency. A core of Randle, RJ Barrett, whoever they end up selecting at No. 13, and a star free agent could be too steep of a hill for Toronto to climb.
There isn’t a ton the Raptors can do to prevent New York from being that proactive in the draft. They just need to hope that Leon Rose is unable to pull off this deal, as the Knicks moving close to the Top 10 could make the Atlantic even tougher than it already was.