NBA Mock Draft has Raptors making very risky second-round pick

May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Raptors president Masai Ujiri. Mandatory Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Raptors are in possession of the No. 33 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft, allowing Masai Ujiri to restock the cupboards with another premium athlete. The NBA Mock Draft wizards seem to believe that Ujiri will roll the dice again on a toolsy prospect.

With the selection of Scottie Barnes No. 4 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft, Ujiri committed to leaning on physical traits over raw box score stats at the college level. Why would Toronto abandon those principles ahead of the 2022 Draft?

The Raptors are in a position where they could bring in another developmental forward who eventually starts to assimilate into their culture if similarly sized defenders. Ujiri’s scouting eye could help them bring in a developing player with the potential to cement himself in Toronto’s long-term core.

Jeremy Woo of Sports Illustrated had the Raptors opting for athleticism and potential over production in college, as they selected Memphis forward Josh Minott in his mock draft. Minott will likely head to the G League, but it’s clear and obvious why teams are interested in him.

Will the Toronto Raptors draft Josh Minott?

Minott averaged 16.2 points, 9.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game on a per-36 minute basis last year. An NBA-ready slasher who can use his athleticism and motor to get to the rim, Minott will probably be best served as a small-ball power forward when he gets to the pros.

His offense might be a work in progress right now, but the leaping ability and improvement as the season went on are both positives that Minott will lean on. Despite his size and the role he played with the Tigers, Minott became a solid passer.

The defense is what will really attract teams to Minott. Able to switch and defend perimeter players as well as interior stars, Minott fits in perfectly with a Toronto culture that preaches multiplicity on that end.

Minott’s lack of production at the collegiate level is alarmingly low. Minott played an average of just 14.6 minutes per game, scoring 6.6 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. After making 14% of his 3-pointers, it’s become abundantly clear that Minott will not see any time with Toronto in 2022.

Taking a player as raw as Minott hasn’t scared the Raptors in the past, meaning that they could be one of his top suitors. Picking him over a shooter might be a risky proposition, but the Raptors could just be crazy enough to pull this off and strike gold in the second once again.

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