Best players available for the Toronto Raptors to draft in the second round

An exciting and surprising first round of the NBA Draft has left a number of intriguing prospects on the board for the Toronto Raptors to draft with pick No. 31
Kyle Filipowski, Duke Blue Devils
Kyle Filipowski, Duke Blue Devils / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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The 2024 NBA Draft has brought a new format to the event, splitting the draft across two separate nights. As such, the Toronto Raptors and the rest of the NBA will have a day to catch their breath and look intently at the players still available to be selected in the second round.

The Raptors landed a perfect fit in the first round, drafting Baylor wing Ja'Kobe Walterwith the 19th pick. Walter is a 3-and-D wing with upside to be more who will help the team to address their needs for shooting and perimeter defense. Along with Walter, 30 prospects went off the board in the first roudn -- many of them expected, but some of them truly shocking surprises.

The Raptors hold the 31st pick in the draft, otherwise known as the very first pick in the second round. They will surely field trade offers for the selection, but if they stay put they will have a chance to add a first-round type of talent, as five of the top 31 players on the final Raptors Big Board are still available.

Let's look at the 5 Best Available players on the board and how they might fit in Toronto, starting with a player the Raptors could have reasonably taken with the 19th pick. They are written in order of Big Board rank, with that rank in parentheses.

No. 1: Kyle Filipowski, Big, Duke (14th)

The Toronto Raptors have a veteran center entrenched as the starter in Jakob Poeltl, and he has three years left at $20 million per year. While the retooling Raptors should strongly consider moving on from Poeltl, even if they keep him they need to add a backup, ideally one with shooting range to pair with Scottie Barnes.

Enter Kyle Filipowski, ranked 14th on the Raptors Big Board and likely the top-ranked player available for a number of teams. The two-year player at Duke was an All-American and combined prolific scoring and rebounding with shooting, passing and strong defense for a Top-30 defense in the country.

While Filipowski can defend well, doing a lot of the less-heralded work in deflecting the ball, moving well in space and cleaning the glass, he is not an elite shot-blocker and that seems to have hurt his draft stock as less-skilled players such as Yves Missi and Kel'el Ware went off the board. The Raptors would be an ideal place for his skillset with Barnes such an impactful shot-blocker from the power forward position.

Toronto could have drafted Kyle Filipowski with the 19th pick and they would have been lauded here for adding a skilled big man who can reasonably succeed Jakob Poeltl one day, but instead they stood pat and watched Filipowski fall right to them. If they don't trade the pick, he looks like a strong candidate to go 31st to the Raptors.