Toronto Raptors draft season is never truly over, as Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster are already taking note of prospects that could make an immediate impact on the team in 2022 and beyond. Ujiri has to have taken note of some egregiously large holes on this roster right now.
This team is currently lacking in terms of height and deficient when it comes to shooters off of the bench. With what promises to become a very valuable draft pick under their possession, Ujiri will be given a golden chance to patch up those holes in a pretty significant fashion.
With the college basketball season starting to properly kick into high gear, it’s starting to become clear that a handful of draft prospects are already getting some significant NBA buzz. It’s still early, but there are plenty of potential future Raptors that have stood out.
These 3 college basketball standouts have started the season by exhibiting the traits scouts are looking for. Ujiri may be forced into making a move for one of these 3 players if they continue to play like this.
Toronto Raptors draft: 3 players Masai Ujiri should be watching.
3. Oscar Tshiebwe, C, Kentucky
A transfer from West Virginia, Tshiebwe joined Kentucky with the intent of becoming the next great big man that John Calipari develops. All he’s done so far is rebound at a rate that has been unequaled across all of D-I college basketball, which is a good way to pump up your draft stock.
The Congolese-born big is averaged 13.8 points and an absurd 16.5 rebounds per game. He isn’t just stat-padding against inferior opponents either, as he piled up 17 points and 20 rebounds against potential No. 1 pick Paolo Banchero and a very skilled Duke team.
Toronto Raptors draft: Oscar Tshiebwe would provide rebounding inside.
Tshiebwe doesn’t have the most expansive offensive game at the moment, which could prevent him from challenging for lottery status. However, if either a trade down or winning streak puts the Raptors in the late teens or early 20s, they could look to take a rock-solid rebounder in Tshiebwe.
With Khem Birch about to turn 30 and Precious Achiuwa looking more like a bench sparkplug than someone who can anchor down in the low-post for large chunks of the game, Toronto could stand to add one more traditional center. If Tshiebwe keeps rebounding like this, Ujiri may need to make a handful of scouting trips down to Lexington.