The Toronto Raptors will likely be endowed with the 13th overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and the idea of trading one of their star players in order to recoup talent might be one way they can replenish their draft pick cupboards and pick up a valuable second-round pick.
This team’s needs are clear. More shooting is needed in the worst way, with backup point guard also standing out as an area that requires an injection of talent. Luckily, this draft has enough depth to satisfy all of those needs if Masai Ujiri maneuvers the order in a savvy fashion.
The Raptors may need to look to the ACC if they want to find an array of prospects who can come right in and be productive. This conference has a history of sending out players that don’t require tons of developmental energy to get started off hot at the professional level.
If the Raptors end up bringing one of these three ACC prospects to Toronto, Ujiri can walk away from the festivities with his head held high, assured in the knowledge that he helped make the team better. Will he actually follow through on these dreams and draft one of them?
Toronto Raptors draft: 3 ACC prospects to target
3. Reece Beekman, PG, Virginia
Why would the Raptors consider drafting a player who never averaged 10.0 points per game in three collegiate seasons and shot just 40% from the field with almost no 3-point success? That sounds like a risk, even for a second-round dart throw, that some might not be all in on.
Beekman is a terrific on-ball defender who will be able to orchestrate a quality NBA offense. A terrific passer who helped lead a very consistent Cavaliers team for three seasons, Beekman will be able to distribute and defend. Ujiri clearly values both of those traits.
Will the Toronto Raptors draft Reece Beekman?
Beekman’s defense might be just a tick shy of the unquestionably elite tier. With tremendous effort, versatility, and turnover generation (2.1 steals per game), Beekman will be a very pesky defender the second he steps on an NBA floor. The three years of experience may also appeal to Ujiri.
Even with Nick Nurse gone, Beekman, who may still return to college, will likely be on Ujiri’s radar. The team’s next head coach will almost assuredly have a background in player development, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. The marriage of those two parties could lead to a move back into the second round for Beekman.