2025 NBA Mock Draft 1.0: Loaded class must compel Raptors to tank this season

The 2025 NBA Draft is loaded with talent at the top, led by Duke forward Cooper Flagg. The Raptors need to lean into the tank this year to add another star.
Cooper Flagg, 2024 McDonald's All American Game
Cooper Flagg, 2024 McDonald's All American Game / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages
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No. 4: Ace Bailey, Wing, Rutgers

If there is a player in the 2024 class who could most realistically challenge Cooper Flagg for the No. 1 spot, it's Rutgers wing Ace Bailey. The 6'9" forward is the No. 2 ranked player in his high school class and is the pure scorer that Flagg is not, putting up massive point totals as he scores from anywhere on the court. He can sky high for dunks, pull up for midrangers or bomb from the perimeter.

Toronto fans may appreciate that one comparison for Bailey is Tracy McGrady; Bailey has more size, but he shares McGrady's effortless ability to get to his shot and make it. How Bailey applies his size and athleticism on defense and how his efficiency as a scorer looks against college competition will likely determine if he pushes for the top slot or is more of a Top 10 prospect after the year, but he has all the potential to put it together as a future 30-point scorer in the NBA.

No. 5: Dylan Harper, Guard, Rutgers

Bailey will be joined at Rutgers by another top recruit, 6'5" guard Dylan Harper. The younger brother of Ron Harper Jr., who was on a two-way last season with the Raptors, and son of longtime NBA player Ron Harper, Dylan has the highest upside in the family. He is a point guard with excellent size and passing vision, and he loves to get downhill and attack the rim.

The NBA loves perimeter players who can put pressure on the rim, opening up kickout opportunities for shooters. The top seed in each conference this year, the Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder, excelled at generating that kind of rim pressure to set up shooters. Harper looks like he will excel in that area, with the strength to finish inside and the playmaking to dime up teammates. He also brings defensive fire and competitiveness, and it's possible he impresses scouts even more than Bailey at Rutgers this year.