Unable the climb the lottery, the Toronto Raptors officially were handed the No. 13 pick in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft. Unless the front office makes a move in the coming weeks, the Raptors will be picking at the bottom of the lottery.
With that pick, there is a chance that Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster could be eyeing Baylor freshman Keyonte George, who is projected to land in that range.
On Friday, during George’s NBA Combine Pro Day in Chicago, Webster and Ujiri can be seen in the crowd of scouts and coaches. Sitting near the back, the pair were taking in what George had to offer in his offensive arsenal.
George struggled this season with efficiency, but no one has a bad word to say about his physical tools and the passion with which he plays the game. That could be worth a high pick. Whether they were pleased or not remains to be seen, but one would be lying if they said they were not tempted by Keyonte’s abilities.
Will the Toronto Raptors draft Keyonte George?
George finished his freshman season averaging 15.3 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game. His scoring was full of tough looks at the rim and lots of outside shots off the dribble. Less focused on the passing game, George has the skill set to hit pull-ups in transition and take step-backs from NBA range.
While his percentages may remain lower than the average guard shooting 38% from the field and 34% from outside, it is his confidence that truly stands out. He is not afraid of the bright lights and is committed to working to make the shot fall.
The Raptors are in need of two things; guards and shot-creators. George is both. At 6-4, he still has the size to guard multiple positions (as the Raptors require), and he can run the floor or play off the catch. His tool bag is unpolished, but he has shown he has the potential to be a threat on multiple levels and could be the developmental player the front office is looking for.
With the draft still over a month away, there is a lot of time for Keyonte’s stock to rise or fall and the front office’s interest to change. However, it is fair to say that George is an impressive player and his shot, style, and confidence would be more than welcome in Scotiabank Arena.
Of course, the Raptors aren’t the only team with eyes on him.