The Toronto Raptors‘ ability to develop prospects that were not highly touted has been discussed to death, but it’s worth harping on again ahead of the 2022 NBA Draft because they have an early second-round pick in their grasp. The developmental magic will need to show up in 2022.
The Raptors have some big holes that need filling before the final whistle sounds on the offseason, and the first step towards doing so is finding a player that will assimilate into Toronto’s developmental-centric culture. Masai Ujiri is spoiled for choice in that area this year.
The Raptors could either add a backup point guard who could take over for Malachi Flynn, a multi-dimensional guard who will get minutes immediately, or another switchable power forward that will fit in with Ujiri’s always expansive collection of those types.
These three players might not provide the most immediate bang for the Raptors’ buck, but they could become one of the best players in this class with a few more years on the roster while getting worked on by Nick Nurse. An All-Star appearance if these three maximize their potential wouldn’t be the most absurd thing in the world.
3 raw Toronto Raptors prospects who could develop.
3. JD Davison, PG, Alabama
Davison will never be as good as Russell Westbrook, but there are plenty of similar traits between the two. Davison is an energetic defender who made his mark with the Crimson Tide as a bench sparkplug who carried the second unit thanks to his rim-rattling dunks.
Davison is one of the fastest players at any position in his class, which help him be an absolute pest on defense and a transition threat on offense. Davison didn’t average 10.0 points per game in college, but he should eventually be a solid scorer once he gets more NBA minutes.
Toronto Raptors point guard JD Davison has a high floor.
Davison is a poor shooter, as he barely cracked 30% efficiency from 3-point range. That energetic nature is excellent but can lead to poor shot selection. Reigning Davison in and making him a more decisive, high-percentage offensive player should be at the top of Toronto’s priority list.
Davison is a raw toolbox of athletic skills that lack the cohesion needed to become a high first-round pick in the draft. Toronto could be willing to work with him when others are not, and that might be the ticket towards getting Ujiri the star backup that he thought Flynn would be.