Raptors may not let talented PG fall past No. 13 in 2023 NBA Draft

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 09: Kobe Bufkin #2 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - MARCH 09: Kobe Bufkin #2 of the Michigan Wolverines (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors may end up using their first-round draft choice on a player that fits their versatile philosophy on both ends of the floor, but Masai Ujiri and Bobby Webster would be absolute fools if they didn’t see the need for a dynamic young guard on this roster.

One of the players who could fit this bill is Michigan guard Kobe Bufkin, who has recently surpassed teammate Jett Howard as the best professional prospect from last year’s Wolverines team. A 6-4 guard who can get to the rim, he seems like a player that Toronto needs in the worst way.

Bufkin has seen his stock rise over the last few weeks, with the latest rumblings making it seem increasingly unlikely that he is not selected in the first 14 draft choices. There is a strong chance that his recent boost upward could help him land with the guard-needy Raptors.

According to Zach Lowe on his“Lowe Post” podcast, the Raptors (along with the Wizards, Jazz, and Magic) are very interested in Bufkin. In a year where bigger combo guards are reigning supreme, the Raptors may need to compete with a handful of others if they want to land this big prize.

NBA Draft: Toronto Raptors interested in Kobe Bufkin.

A bigger guard prospect at 6-4, Bufkin will need to answer questions about his very slight 185-pound frame before he comes into the pros. A streaky scorer who got hot late and wasn’t the most elite of knockdown shooters out there, Bufkin may not have the best Year 1 impact of all the guards in this class.

Bufkin has already shown an impressive ability to create shots for himself, set up his teammates, and put forth some respectable efforts on the defensive end. The on-ball defense, in particular, is what really stands out. This assuredly has Ujiri and Webster’s attention.

Bufkin and the Raptors seem like a solid fit, but names like Keyonte George and Cason Wallace have already been among those linked to Toronto. The Raptors are in a very advantageous position this year, and adding Bufkin could help them start the offseason with a bang.

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