Raptors draft lockdown defender in Jamal Shead: Instant reaction, analysis

The pick is in! With the No. 45 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft, the Toronto Raptors have added an impact defender in Houston guard Jamal Shead
Jamal Shead, Houston
Jamal Shead, Houston / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Toronto Raptors have had a tumultuous second day of the NBA Draft.

Day 1 was nice and peaceful for the Toronto Raptors. Outside of watching the San Antonio Spurs take the Raptors' original pick at No. 8 and spin it into future gold by trading it to the Timberwolves, the Raptors stayed put, let the draft come to them, and picked a wing in Baylor's Ja'Kobe Walter who fits the team like a glove.

Thursday was anything but quiet. While the Raptors were long rumored to be in trade discussions for the No. 31 pick, they instead made a deal less than an hour before the draft not involving their own pick. They sent Jalen McDaniels to the Sacramento Kings and took back Davion Mitchell, Sasha Vezenkov, a future second and the No. 45 pick in this year's draft.

At 31 the Raptors then drafted Scottie Barnes' friend Jonathan Mogbo, a relentless forward from San Francisco. Rather than unplug and move on to free agency, the Raptors now had the 45th pick to take another young player to plug into the system.

With their newly-acquired pick, the Toronto Raptors used the 45th pick in the 2024 NBA Draft to select Houston guard Jamal Shead.

Raptors add best guard defender in the draft in Jamal Shead

One of the very best players in all of college basketball this past season was Houston guard Jamal Shead, the best defensive guard in the draft and a fearless attacker and floor general. He is small, just 6'0" but seems to ignore the fact that he is many inches smaller than the players he is defending. He is strong, he has excellent instincts and reads the game on both ends of the court at an extremely high level.

The Raptors needed to add perimeter defense and point guard depth, and after trading for Davion Mitchell and drafting Jamal Shead they turned a weakness into a strength. It was an excellent way to use a second-round pick and he should have a long NBA career.

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