The Toronto Raptors came out of the 2022 NBA Draft with another role player added to the roster in Arizona center Christian Koloko. Adding someone with his defensive prowess despite lacking a first-round draft pick is something only an executive like Masai Ujiri could pull off.
The Raptors have possession of their 2023 first-round pick, even though that pick and many others like it are being tossed around in Kevin Durant and Donovan Mitchell trade talks. The next great Raptor might be plying his trade in the collegiate ranks for the 2022-23 season.
Toronto could use one more big man with Khem Birch likely a non-factor in the team’s long-term plans. With a backup point guard still very much a need for this team and the roster always willing to add more 6-7 wings to the squad, Ujiri is already going to be spoiled for choice.
Fresh off turning Koloko and Scottie Barnes into long-term contributors, one of these three prospects could end up being the next impact youngster that becomes a sensation in Toronto. With a pick expected to be somewhere in the late teens to early 20s, Toronto should keep an eye on this trio.
3 2023 NBA Draft prospects for the Toronto Raptors to scout.
3. Kel’el Ware, C, Oregon
Ware decided that Eugene is the best one-and-done haven for him to make an impact. Given his 7-0 frame, endless wingspan, and promising jump shot for a player as big as he is, Ware’s game is perfectly situated for an NBA that is moving towards a more positionless style.
Ware’s post game is surprisingly refined for a player his size, and it should help him bang around in the post. Ware could move past names like Dereck Lively in the hypothetical center power rankings if he proves to be a tremendous rim protector at the collegiate level.
Kel’el Ware could fit with the Toronto Raptors.
Ware’s biggest issue, aside from a 210-pound frame that some teams might not be thrilled on, is the fact that some observes would like to see a bit of a hotter motor. That shouldn’t stop him from being picked high if teams are sold on his athletic potential at the center spot.
If the Raptors find a way to offload Birch’s contract and Koloko takes a bit too long to develop on the offensive end, Ujiri could go back to the center position in 2023 and select Ware. If everything clicks from a physical point of view, the Raptors may have their next two-way star.