The Toronto Raptors drafted Malachi Flynn with the No. 29 overall pick in 2020, expecting that he would eventually become the long-term solution at the backup point guard spot. With all of his essential box score stats taking a dip in 2021-22, some Raptors fans are close to giving up on him.
While Fred VanVleet was a deserving All-Star last year, Toronto was forced to lean on him for an excessive amount of time because they lacked a reliable backup. Scottie Barnes was taking up minutes as the backup before Flynn was given a shot in the later parts of the season.
The Raptors could use the No. 33 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft to bring in a new point guard who kicks Flynn out of town. This draft is generally regarded as subpar for any team who wants to add a new lead point guard, but there are some standouts at the fringe of the first round.
These three prospects could be solid ball-handlers who could come right in and replace Flynn. Oddly enough, all three of these prospects plied their trade in the SEC. They should be available in the second round if Masai Ujiri wants to prioritize adding guards into the mix.
3. Scotty Pippen Jr, Vanderbilt
Pippen is obviously going to raise some eyebrows in the draft community because of his name. Even with that legacy to live up to, Pippen would be a fine NBA prospect no matter who his father is. On a somewhat disappointing Commodores team, Pippen stood out as one of the best SEC scorers.
While his father is one of the best two-way wing defenders who ever lived, his son is more of a ball-dominant combo guard that can score from all three levels. Pippen averaged more than 20 points per game in each of the past two seasons despite a lack of solid support around him.
Scotty Pippen Jr. could be an excellent scorer for the Toronto Raptors.
Pippen shows some nice effort on defense, but he’s quite a ways away from being a lockdown defender at the NBA level. His shooting left something to be desired this season, as he took a step back and converted on just 32% of his 3-point attempts. His skinny frame might not be super attractive for prospective teams.
Pippen’s value lies entirely in his scoring. With Masai Ujiri often placing a premium on players with multiple years of experience in major conferences, Pippen’s numbers might be more attractive to him than most GMs. He likely won’t need a ton of Raptors 905 time.