Raptors Mock Draft: Grading 3 expert draft selections for Toronto

The Toronto Raptors have a plethora of options in the 2024 NBA Draft. How do these three prospects mocked to them by various outlets grade out?
Ja'Kobe Walter, Baylor Bears
Ja'Kobe Walter, Baylor Bears / Justin Ford/GettyImages
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The Toronto Raptors do not enter the 2024 NBA Draft with the Top-10 pick they hoped to have, instead sending the No. 8 pick to the San Antonio Spurs. That doesn't mean they will sit out the first round, however, as the Pascal Siakam trade brought back the Indiana Pacers' No. 19 pick.

What the Raptors do with that pick is difficult to predict, for multiple reasons. From the team side, the Raptors have a number of needs, so determining which direction they will go in is not as easy as looking to the largest hole on the roster. From the draft side, the 2024 NBA Draft is considered to be a "flat" draft, with few standout future stars at the top but a lot of "good" prospects; that means the draft order could go in any number of directions and a lot more than 30 prospects could potentially be selected in the first round.

Who will the Raptors draft? Your guess is as good as anyone's, but that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile to think it through. A number of draft analysts take on that challenge in the weeks leading into the draft, predicting who not just the Raptors but every team in the draft will select.

Let's look at three prominent "mock drafts" to come out recently and which prospect they are projecting the Raptors to take, and grade that pick for Toronto.

No. 1: Sam Vecenie mocks Yves Missi to the Raptors

The Toronto Raptors have invested a lot in center Jakob Poeltl, and while there are compelling reasons for the Raptors to trade him, he is probably entrenched in the starting lineup. The answer behind him is less clear; Kelly Olynyk can play some minutes at center, but with Chris Boucher aging and injured, Precious Achiuwa traded to the New York Knicks and Jontay Porter banned from the league, the Raptors need to add a backup center to develop.

Sam Vecenie of The Athletic recognizes that and mocks Baylor center Yves Missi to the Raptors in his latest mock draft. Missi is 7'0" tall with a 7'5" wingspan and incredible athleticism; he has very little skill or polish, but he has sky-high defensive potential and should be an excellent lob finisher as he adds strength and timing.

He doesn't help the Raptors address their shooting needs, but if they are being patient with their timetable, a player like Missi could offer enough vertical spacing to coexist long-term with Scottie Barnes in the frontcourt. For a team that is not close to contending, taking upside swings makes a lot of sense. Doing so at center is a more narrow path to value, but that doesn't make it wrong.

Grade: B