Grade the Trade: Raptors flip big man for Top 10 draft pick in blockbuster mock deal

The Toronto Raptors lost their Top 10 pick, but there is a pathway to trading back up and flipping an expensive veteran for a high-upside draft prospect
Cody Williams, Colorado Buffaloes
Cody Williams, Colorado Buffaloes / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Grade the Pick

In their mock draft, Bleacher Report has the Toronto Raptors drafting Colorado forward Cody Williams with their newly-acquired pick at No. 9. The younger brother of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jalen Williams, Cody is 6'7" with a 7'1" wingspan and offers two-way potential at the forward position.

Williams would be a phenomenal defensive partner for Scottie Barnes, as his length and activity would allow him to be deployed on the top perimeter threat, freeing Barnes up to rove the court. Williams is slight, but with the Raptors he can play small forward instead of sliding down to the 4.

Offense is a greater question mark; Williams looked like a future weapon from 3-point range given his fluid shooting motion and success from the free-throw line, but he was wildly inaccurate during his freshman season at Colorado. He is an underrated passer and excellent finisher near the rim, but if his shot doesn't come around the fit on offense between he and Barnes will be a much more difficult one.

As far as opportunity cost, the Raptors take Williams in this mock draft ahead of G League Ignite Matas Buzelis and Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham; they aren't a team to take a swing at the dimunitive but productive Dillingham, but it's a real question between the size and playmaking of Buzelis vs the defense and athleticism of Williams. Both are question marks as shooters, although Williams seems a more sure bet to improve in that area.

Given the players available, drafting Williams makes a lot of sense, and it seems about right for the pick they are using. Would they prefer to make this deal if someone like Nikola Topic falls to No. 9? Absolutely, as Topic's fit with Immanuel Quickley looks ideal and he ranked No. 2 on our Raptors-specific big board. Williams, for what it's worth, ranked No. 8.

WIlliams would be a solid addition with the upside to be the long-term answer at small forward. There are palyers in the mix in that range the Raptors would like more, but this is a good outcome for this pick and would bring them an intriguing trade return in full of Brandon Clarke, Ziaire Williams and Cody Williams.

Grade: B

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