Raptors mock draft roundup: Toronto gambles on potential, scoring

The Toronto Raptors have been on a hot streak of late, but that hasn’t stopped the Raptors mock draft wizards from figuring out what Masai Ujiri is going to do when the 2022 NBA Draft rolls around. There are some noteworthy holes that need addressing on this team.

The Raptors need a backup point guard, some athleticism off of the bench, and some consistency in the frontcourt. With Ujiri’s success in drafting Scottie Barnes, a pick that is expected to be in the teens has suddenly become a very valuable asset.

The draft prognosticators are apparently in agreement with the notion that Toronto would opt for potential over immediate returns, as some of the players projected to go to the Raptors may take a few years to blossom.

Bleacher Report’s Jonathan Wasserman gets the party started by linking the Raptors to G League guard Jaden Hardy. While Hardy was an elite recruit billed as a knockdown shooter, only making 35% of his shots in the G League so far has hurt his stock to the point where Toronto could jump on him.

Jaden Hardy has star potential for the Toronto Raptors.

Hardy has been struggling in the G League, while fellow 2022 Ignite prospects MarJon Beauchamp and Dyson Daniels have zoomed by him in the minds of some pundits. However, gambling on a 5-star prodigy helped the Raptors land Barnes, so Ujiri could trust Nurse to get this athletic freak performing well once again.

The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie (subscription required) has Toronto getting an absolute steal at No. 13, as they are grabbing Iowa power forward Keegan Murray. Murray is currently leading the country in scoring with 24.7 points per game.

Keegan Murray would give the Toronto Raptors scoring, efficiency.

At 6-8 power forward with the 6-11 wingspan needed to defend multiple positions, Murray has developed a smooth 3-point shot the willingness to create off of the dribble. If he lasts until the teens and the Raptors pass on him, they would be making an egregious mistake.

For The Win’s Bryan Kalbrosky has Toronto drafting a familiar face in Duke power forward AJ Griffin. The Blue Devils star is the son of Adrian Griffin, who is currently a Raptors assistant coach.

AJ Griffin could reward the Toronto Raptors with his athletic ability.

Griffin would be an intriguing risk to take, as the former 5-star recruit has been hampered by injuries and inconsistent playing time in college. However, Griffin is so skilled from a mental and physical point of view that he could be the perfect sixth man for this team if he gets into a groove.

The Raptors could surprise some around the league with the direction they choose to go in, but Ujiri has earned enough equity in this city to take some risks.