The Toronto Raptors saw their suspect guard depth exposed by the 76ers in the postseason. The Raptors mock draft scientists are hard at work trying to figure out how Masai Ujiri is going to address that with one of the earliest picks in the draft’s second round.
Finding a guard is harder for Ujiri and Toronto than most NBA teams. Toronto’s style of play places a heavy emphasis on versatility and perimeter defense. No amount of scoring prowess from their collegiate days can make up for being a complete non-factor on the defensive end.
The Raptors need to find someone that can be trusted to eventually become a quality on-ball defender while raining down 3-pointers. Going down to Durham and taking one of the best players from Mike Krzyzewski’s final team could help the Raptors get a bit deeper as they rebuild for the future.
The folks over at Tankathon have the Raptors using the No. 33 pick on Duke sharpshooter Trevor Keels. While he has a very volatile season at Duke, Keels’ physical tools and potential to evolve into a sweet shooter should help the Raptors add more depth.
NBA Mock Draft: Masai Ujri may Trevor Keels to the Toronto Raptors.
At 6-4 and 220 pounds, Keels is built like a tight end. That pestilence on the defensive end was complemented by some solid downhill speed and physicality that will bother smaller opponents. It could make him a seamless fit in Toronto’s scheme. As both a starter and Sixth Man, Keels played a huge role in Duke’s attack.
Keels shares a lot of similarities with Thunder wing Lu Dort. Keels, who just declared for the draft, has some nice mechanics on his jumper and profiles as a solid shooter at the next level. He can work on his offensive game with Raptors 905 for a bit before he explodes into a contributor by Year 2.
Keels’ efficiency was not ideal, as he made just 42% of his shots and 31% of his 3-pointers despite his shot being one of his best assets. With some iffy passing results and a lack of standout athletic ability when compared to his peers, the ceiling on Keels might not be as high as everyone hopes.
With Svi Mykhailiuk falling out of the rotation early in the season, Toronto lacked that perimeter sparkplug that can come in to hit a couple of 3-pointers and be a reliable presence on the wing. Keels might not last until the second round but he would be a tremendous addition to the squad if he does slide a bit.