NBA Mock Draft: Raptors taking big swings on offensive potential in first-round

Will Toronto use this philosophy in June?
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors
Boston Celtics v Toronto Raptors / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors are looking towards the future after trading away Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby, as they went from having no picks in the 2024 NBA Draft to possessing as many as three first-round choices and the best possible second-round pick on offer.

The Raptors have developed a bit of a reputation for taking a swing on veteran players with potential, and that mindset might be needed once again if they are going to dig themselves out of the hole they created. Masai Ujiri needs to hit some home runs in what is not considered an amazing draft.

The Raptors need some extra size down in the paint, a backcourt player who can come right in and be an impactful presence as a scorer, and some two-way perimeter help. The most recent mock draft has the Raptors doing just that with their three first-round draft choices.

Rookie Wire's most recent Mock Draft has Toronto using the No. 6 pick on an increasingly popular Raptors target in Kentucky guard Rob Dillingham. The No. 18 will be yet another Kansas wing in Kevin McCullar Jr, while the No. 29 choice will be used to grab G League dynamo Izan Almansa.

NBA Mock Draft: Rob Dillingham linked to Raptors again

Dillingham is not a good defender, but few players in this class can equal his brilliant scoring ability and deadly 3-point shot. Even as a Sixth Man for the Wildcats, he has emerged as their best NBA prospect and (arguably) the best player on the entire team.

While a two-guard starting lineup featuring him and Immanuel Quickley might give up a preposterous amount of points every night, an offensive-minded coach like Darko Rajakovic will likely have a field day designing ways for those two former Kentucky stars to get in rhythm and start scorching the nets.

Unlike Gradey Dick, who likely should have stayed in school one more year, McCullar is a five-year college veteran. Already a very promising rebounder and defender who has finally given his offense the boost he needed to become desirable to NBA scouts, McCullar could be as viable a rotation player as Dick in 2024.

Almanza is an athleticism dart throw at the end of the first round, as the 18-year-old G League product will likely spend most of his rookie year with Raptors 905. If he clicks, expect to see some quality defense and old-school paint play on display for a Toronto team that needs interior depth ASAP.