Raptors Mock Draft: Toronto trades Poeltl and Brown, drafts 4 perfect prospects

The Toronto Raptors can trade into the 2024 NBA Draft, giving them even more options to improve the team.
Kyle Filipowski, Duke Blue Devils
Kyle Filipowski, Duke Blue Devils / Patrick Smith/GettyImages
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Pick No. 9: Nikola Topic, Serbia

At one point Nikola Topic seemed like a genuine candidate for the first overall pick, but then consecutive knee injuries robbed him of most of his final season and dealt a blow to his draft value. Recently diagnosed with a partially torn ACL, it's likely that whatever team drafts Topic will need to be prepared for him to miss his entire first year, in the same way that Joel Embiid or Chet Holmgren did.

With the Toronto Raptors moving off of Bruce Brown and Jakob Poeltl, they are signaling that they are content being patient for a season or two to develop a young core around Scottie Barnes and Immanuel Quickley. Having multiple bites at the apple in the 2024 Draft gives them a number of bites at the apple to find their future rotation players, and it also means that they can be patient with a player like Topic who won't be ready right away.

Once Topic is healthy, he looks like a player with a lot of upside as a passer, playmaker and scorer. He is fast and crafty with the basketball, able to use screens to his advantage to get into the paint and set himself up to either score or pass. He has a deep bag of moves at the rim to finish even in traffic, but his kickout passes are every bit as special. His jumper isn't the smoothest in the draft, but his free-throw percentage is extremely high and his touch suggests the outside shot will come around.

Topic isn't a perfect prospect; he isn't always locked in on defense, and his wingspan is essentially equal to his height. Still, the upside is that the Raptors will have a second dynamic point guard to rotate with Quickley, and the floor is likely a long-term backup point guard. Topic offers the highest star potential around pick No. 9 and is worth the swing.