NBA Mock Draft has Raptors adding versatile wing, star recruit

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 have always been willing to use a second-round pick in the NBA Draft on a raw bunch of tools that eventually gets molded into a viable NBA fringe player. Masai Ujiri is running out of time to locate that next stud as the 2022 NBA Draft draws closer.

While the Raptors could use this pick on a guard who can shoot the lights out from 3-point range or a center who can help with their issues at protecting the rim. However, Ujiri’s dogmatic commitment to versatility could lead to him drafting a project over a more specialized player.

In this draft, Ujiri will have multiple giant wings to select from at No. 33 overall. If ESPN’s prediction comes true and one of the best recruits in the 2021 class falls a bit, Toronto could end up snagging one of the biggest steals in this class.

ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who gave the Raptors a choice of either drafting for need or picking the best player available, thought that the Raptors could go BPA and select Baylor wing Kendall Brown. While Ismael Kamagate was also linked to Toronto, Brown might have a higher ceiling long-term.

NBA Mock Draft: Kendall Brown fits in well with the Toronto Raptors

A former 5-star recruit, Brown has legitimate All-Defensive potential. At 6-8 with a long wingspan and boundless verticality, Brown will be a thunderous dunker at the next level who locks up guards and forwards. His energy and activeness on the floor will help him fit in perfectly with Toronto.

Brown, who made 58% of his shots, is a much better passer than his 1.9 assists per game would suggest. Brown reminds me of a skinnier version of OG Anunoby from his time at Indiana. The mobility and length that Toronto praises are evident in Brown, as is his ability to efficiently score without being a ball hog.

Brown is going to be a work in progress at the offensive level, as he averaged just 9.7 points per game in college while taking just 1.2 3-point attempts per game. That lack of aggression is going to weigh heavily on his stock, as is a lousy mid-range game and suspect handle.

Luckily for the Raptors, many of the flaws Brown has in his game are things that Nick Nurse has built a very successful coaching career off teaching to prospective players. If the Nurse shooting academy works its magic on Brown as it did with Precious Achiuwa, Toronto could steal a first-round talent.

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