Raptors should reunite Scottie Barnes and Caleb Houstan in draft

ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 23: Caleb Houstan #22 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images)
ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN - FEBRUARY 23: Caleb Houstan #22 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors nailed it with the selection of Scottie Barnes in the 2022 NBA Draft, as they took a product of the much-hyped Montverde Academy and managed to turn him into a future star in this league. Could they potentially go down that same path again by drafting Michigan standout Caleb Houstan?

Houstan was a part of a team that featured 2021 first-rounders Cade Cunningham, Day’Ron Sharpe, and Moses Moody in addition to Barnes. The Mississauga native went to college one year after that bunch, signing up to join Juwan Howard and the Wolverines for 2021-22.

After a very slow start that took him out of the lottery range, Houstan has stabilized to the point where a team in the late 20s or early 30s should feel more than comfortable with selecting him. A solid shooter that can handle the ball, he’s built for the modern NBA.

Barnes is going to be a major part of the Raptors’ future, and adding a former teammate of his with the aim of getting some more bench scoring could be a way to show their commitment to him as a franchise cornerstone. Even if you take out the links to Barnes, Houstan is a baller that could end up being the second Canadian drafted by the Raptors.


The Toronto Raptors should consider drafting Caleb Houstan.

The slow start is one of the main reasons his stock has fallen, but he’s turned things around. Against Big Ten opponents, Houstan is averaging 12.0 points per game on 44/41/78 shooting percentages. Considering the players he has to share the floor with, this is solid production.

Houstan is a quality ball-handler for his size, which would help him fit in well on a raptors team that is placing a premium on versatility. Even with his slow start, Houstan profiles as a well-above-average shooter in the pros. Most of his offensive value will still be tied to that lethal jumper.

As good of a shooter as he is, Houstan would be yet another 6-8 forward to add to the mix. While he can hold his own on defense, he’s likely going to be in for some major growing pains at the next level until he adds strength. Should Toronto neglect the backcourt to add yet another forward?

Houstan might not be the most explosive athlete ever, but there’s always a role for a forward that plays with such a smooth style and reliable jump shot should be a prized addition to the squad. The Montverde connection could make Toronto feared by the rest of the East in 2022.

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