Grade the Trade: Raptors turn coveted draft pick into a future starter in new pitch

The Toronto Raptors have a highly coveted draft pick at No. 31 and could turn it into a future starter in a buy-low move for a team trying to win now
Moses Moody, Golden State Warriors
Moses Moody, Golden State Warriors / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages
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The first round of the 2024 NBA Draft is in the books, and the Toronto Raptors landed a 3-and-D wing with upside in Baylor's Ja'Kobe Walter, a player we had ranked 13th on our Raptors Big Board that Toronto landed at 19. The draft is far from over, however, as the new two-day format means the league will be back at it tonight.

The Raptors own the No. 31 pick in the draft, the very first pick when the draft starts back up at 4:00 PM ET today, courtesy of the OG Anunoby trade this past season. That pick is a hot commodity, with teams staring at their preferred prospects and fighting for the chance to trade up and draft them. That puts Toronto in the catbird's seat and with plenty of time all day to entertain trade offers.

The Raptors could trade down to pick up more draft capital, whether in this draft or future ones. They could package the pick to go after a future first or a player they like. They obviously could stand put and draft one of the best players available. One option that could lead to the highest upside in ther future is to use the pick to buy low on a young player devalued by his team.

The Toronto Raptors could add a buy-low piece today

A high second-round pick is perfect value for a recent first-round pick who has lost some of his value. The teams looking to trade up are likely to have someone on the roster who is not being showcased but still holds value and upside, and the Raptors could use the allure of the 31st pick to acquire a better player than they would be able to draft for themselves.

Let's look at one such potential trade where an aging dynasty trades for a cost-controlled player and in the process