Raptors add perfect Masai Ujiri guard in 2023 NBA Mock Draft

Even as the Toronto Raptors figure out ways to stay in the postseason hunt despite the injury gods giving them some comical bad luck, Masai Ujiri is likely getting his 2023 big board set up. Raptors mock draft time is not just a seasonal event, especially for this front office.

After fixing their height issue by selecting Christian Koloko in the second round last year, the Raptors could look to fix their shooting issues by adding a player with a high ceiling on the perimeter. With Gary Trent Jr. potentially opting out, guard play will be at a premium.

The Raptors had previously been predicted to draft Canadian high school phenom Leonard Miller, who would take some time to develop. That would certainly fit the Raptors’ draft philosophy they’ve strengthened over the last few years, though Ujiri could go for the collegiate route if he wants someone with more immediate pop.

A mock draft from Sports Illustrated has the Raptors using their first-round pick on Ohio State guard Brice Sensabaugh, who has a body type that Ujiri will like at 6-6 and 235 pounds. If he keeps up his hot start with the Buckeyes, he might swap out his scarlet jersey for a slightly darker red one in a few months.

Toronto Raptors mock draft: Brice Sensabaugh fits this team.

Sensabaugh is averaging 17.0 points and 5.7 rebounds per game to start the season despite limited playing time. He’s made 36% of his threes against some substandard competition, but everything about his game in high school suggests he’s an above-average sniper.

Think of him as an inverse O.G. Anunoby. Whereas Anunoby proved to be a dominant defender who was exceedingly raw offensively during his time at Big Ten rival Indiana, Sensabaugh can create for himself and get to the rim with a surprising deftness for a player his size. Can you say “positionless?”

Despite coming in with such enticing measurables, Sensabaugh is very raw on the defensive end and will take time to adjust to pro scorers. He has been coming off the bench for the Buckeyes and playing just 18 minutes per game, but the selection of Scottie Barnes shows that starting isn’t necessarily a prerequisite for Ujiri.

The Raptors are not in a position where they need to reach in order to fill a need, so they could just take the best shooter available. If that shooter is Sensabaugh, he’ll give Toronto a young prospect with traits that the Raptors have historically had success working with.