The Toronto Raptors have one very high second-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, though Masai Ujiri might not be above moving up or down in the order if he finds one player that really speaks to him. The SEC might have a handful of players that will mesh well with Toronto’s style.
While conference jewel Kentucky was upset by Saint Peter’s in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, teams like Arkansas and Auburn were able to show the strength of their group. The SEC will send yet another crop of future stars to the NBA in the 2022 class.
Toronto themselves are in the market for more backup point guard talent, shooters that will give Gary Trent Jr. and OG Anunoby some extra support, and a big man that will improve Toronto’s rim protection. Even in the second round, Toronto is in a position to land a worthwhile contributor.
The Raptors need to bring on one of these four SEC prospects if they want to help remake their bench in the most robust way possible. All four of these prospects have the potential to be the next Norman Powell if they can develop alongside the rest of Toronto’s youngsters.
4 SEC prospects the Toronto Raptors might be able to draft.
Ellis is a very Raptors-like prospect due to his ability to guard multiple positions on defense despite his gangly, frail frame. Making 37% of his 3-pointers and being a quality offensive player without demanding the ball a ton will appeal to a Toronto team looking for more wing snipers.
Ellis averaged 12.1 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last year for Alabama. Even though he didn’t have the ball in his hands frequently, Ellis was able to make an impact on an Alabama team that made it to the NCAA tournament. There’s your Svi Mykhailiuk replacement right there!
Keon Ellis might fit with the Toronto Raptors.
Ellis spent two years at a junior college before arriving in Tuscaloosa, so he might not offer as much developmental upside as some of the players he could be drafted alongside. Ellis is also not an amazing isolation scorer, which puts a cap on his offensive potential.
Ellis should be expected to come right in and make an impact on the Raptors thanks to his shooting and feistiness on defense. Ujiri has typically leaned into selecting players with multiple years of collegiate experience, and the older Ellis could check that experience box.