Raptors draft: 3 Duke Blue Devils to consider taking in first round

DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 22: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 22: Head coach Mike Krzyzewski of the Duke Blue Devils. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /
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Wendell Moore Jr, Toronto Raptors
DURHAM, NORTH CAROLINA – JANUARY 04: Wendell Moore Jr. #0 of the Duke Blue Devils, a potential Toronto Raptors draft target. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) /

The 2022 Toronto Raptors draft will be one of the most pivotal in recent memory, as they will be tasked with getting Fred VanVleet and Scottie Barnes a long-term running mate. If they want to look at a program with prestige to find this contributor, perhaps drafting someone from Duke would be a prudent strategy.

As far as we’re concerned, Paolo Banchero is not going to be a viable target for the Raptors. He’ll go somewhere in the top three along with Chet Holmgren and Jabari Smith. Toronto will need to focus on one of Duke’s role players considering their draft position.

There’s a reason that the Blue Devils are regarded as one of the best teams in the country in Mike Krzyzewski’s final season in charge. With multiple NBA players willing to fill roles as soon as they make the jump to the professional ranks, Durham may once again be a fertile recruiting ground.

With the Raptors likely to have a draft pick that is on the verge of the lottery, they could convert that pick into one of these three Blue Devils. It doesn’t take a genius to see how one of these players would fit in with what Toronto wants to do on both ends of the floor.

3 Duke Blue Devils the Toronto Raptors could draft.

3. SF Wendell Moore Jr.

Moore has been able to establish himself as Duke’s No. 2 scorer behind Banchero this season, as his 15.2 points per game prove. Making 55% of his shots and 41% of his 3-point attempts, everything about Moore suggests that he is going to be a quality rotation wing early in his career.

Moore and Trevor Keels have helped Duke create one of the best perimeter defenses in the country. His stickiness, intelligence, and effort on that end stand out. It should help him mesh perfectly with a Nick Nurse defensive system that requires nonstop effort and switching.

The Toronto Raptors could use Wendell Moore Jr. and his scoring.

Moore is not the ball-handler that a player like Barnes was coming out of college. There are some questions to answer about how much of an offensive creator he can be, which could pigeonhole him as a 3-and-D type in the pros. Even if that’s what he ends up becoming, Toronto could use that.

Even one more player like Gary Trent Jr. would do wonders for this team, as Svi Mykhailiuk’s demotion has left this team without a ton of viable shooting options on the bench. Moore would get a steady diet of shots as a rookie, as his spot-up shooting might be the most translatable trait he has in his bag.