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
4 of 6

Pick No. 16: Ja'Kobe Walter, Baylor

Having addressed the point guard position, the Toronto Raptors can move on to perimeter defense. Bringing on De'Anthony Melton in the Bruce Brown trade gives them a starting shooting guard who can lock up on the point of attack in the present, and drafting Ja'Kobe Walter gives them a younger option to fill that role and develop into Melton's replacement.

Walter is similar in measurements to Melton, standing 6'4" but with a 6'10" wingspan. He plays strong on the perimeter and can defend larger players, getting into them and moving them where he wants them even when giving up multiple inches. He is also dynamic off the ball, jumping passing lanes and rotating crisply behind the play.

What Walter offers that Melton does not is offensive upside to be more than a catch-and-shoot role player, as valuable as that is. Walter is a good shooter who can come off of screens or handoffs and is already comfortable with the sidestep relocation to avoid closeouts that Stephen Curry seemingly invented and attracted the Raptors to Gradey Dick in last year's draft.

What's more, Walter has upside as a ball-handler and playmaker, and he can finish at the rim whether he is attacking closeouts or running some offense on the second unit. Essentially, the floor with Walter seems to be 3-and-D wing, and the upside is even higher. That's well worth the 16th pick to give Toronto another backcourt option to develop.