On the outside looking in: The last 5 post-lottery draft picks by the Toronto Raptors

The Toronto Raptors will be drafting outside of the lottery in the 2024 NBA Draft. What has been their history drafting late in the first round?
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver poses for a pick with Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby, the 23rd overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver poses for a pick with Toronto Raptors forward OG Anunoby, the 23rd overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft / Mike Stobe/GettyImages
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23rd Overall Pick: OG Anunoby (2017)

The Raptors getting the opportunity to select OG Anunoby at No. 23 reveals one of the rare times that an injury actually leaped both a player and a franchise into years of success.

Measuring at six-foot-eight with a seven-foot-two wingspan, Anunoby had the profile of what every scout was looking for heading into the 2017 draft. After averaging 11.1 PPG, 5.4 RPG, and 1.4 APG, with the ability to guard multiple positions, Anunoby was projected to be a top-10 pick early into his sophomore season until he suffered a knee injury in January that kept him out for the remainder of the season.

With questions regarding his health and offensive capabilities, Anunoby fell into the Raptors’ lap at No. 23 and didn’t look back. Anunoby was instantly viewed as the team's best defender and shortly turned into one of the best 3-and-D players around the league. With the Raptors in desperate need of a change-up, Anunoby was eventually traded last year in a deal that yielded both R.J. Barrett and Immanuel Quickley.

In a 2017 NBA re-draft, there is a great case for Anunoby to land in the top-5 with the likes of Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, Bam Adebayo, and De’Aaron Fox – all-star players who were taken in the lottery that year.

27th Overall Pick: Pascal Siakam (2016)

Siakam’s rise to NBA stardom actually started completely opposite to his first-round pick counterpart in OG Anunoby. Unlike OG’s trajectory of dropping in the draft, many fans and analysts were surprised when the Raptors took Siakam at No. 27 and was viewed as a mid-to-late second-round pick.

After playing two seasons at New Mexico State, Siakam led the NCAA in double-doubles in his sophomore season averaging 20.3 PPG and 11.3 RPG. It was highly rumored that the Raptors were debating between Siakam and Skal Labissiere for the pick but eventually took Siakam – a move they’d make over and over again. 

Siakam started his tenure with the Raptors as a contributing piece of the infamous bench mob, graduated into becoming a starter where he earned the Most Improved Player of the Year Award during the Raptors 2019 championship season, signed a max contract, and eventually turned into an All-Star and All-NBA player. Does an NBA storyline get any better than that? 

Similar to Anunoby, Siakam now dons a different jersey after a trade with the Indiana Pacers last season but goes down as one of the best late first-round draft picks in NBA history.