Three prospects the Toronto Raptors should trade up for in the 2024 NBA Draft

The 2024 NBA Draft class doesn't have a clear-cut superstar, but there are still some intriguing prospects that the Toronto Raptors could trade up to draft.
Lottery order for the 2024 NBA Draft
Lottery order for the 2024 NBA Draft / Anadolu/GettyImages
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It’s no secret that this year’s NBA draft class is not viewed with the highest regard. There’s no clear-cut number one option like the 2003 draft class with LeBron James (sorry Bronny), no debates about which of two players should be the number one pick like the 07’ class with Kevin Durant and Greg Oden (sorry Portland), or even a “core 4” discussion like the 21’ class with Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, and Jalen Suggs – which ironically left out the eventual rookie of the year and sole All-Star of the class, Scottie Barnes.

But if there’s anything that previous NBA drafts have taught us, it’s that they can also exceed initial expectations. Scouts were once certain that a “weak” 2020 class wouldn’t yield superstar talent but fans are now witnessing the stardom of Anthony Edwards, LaMelo Ball, Tyrese Maxey, and Tyrese Haliburton.

With the 2024 NBA draft just weeks away, the Toronto Raptors have the 19th and 31st picks to work with – but that doesn't mean they couldn't execute a trade to move up into the lottery if they identify a prospect they love. With that possibility in mind, let's take a look at three lottery-bound players that the Raptors should try and move up for.

Reed Sheppard - Guard (Kentucky)

Reed Sheppard is probably the best player in this draft to fix the Toronto Raptors biggest flaw from last season – shooting. As a 6’3” guard who primarily plays off the ball, Sheppard shot an astounding 52.1 percent from three throughout his freshman season with Kentucky.

Finishing with a .536/.521/.831 shooting slash, Sheppard showed the ability to score both off-the-catch and off-the-dribble, a skill set that once sparked a dynasty over in Golden State not long ago, and something that all NBA teams could use. Despite being undersized for his position, Sheppard was still effective on the defensive end by averaging 2.5 SPG and 4.1 RPG and can entice teams as a potential 3-and-D guard.

The Raptors offence plummeted throughout the second half of the season, finishing in the bottom five for three-pointers made. Drafting a sharpshooter like Sheppard would space out the floor while creating better opportunities at the rim for players like R.J. Barrett, Jakob Poeltl, and Scottie Barnes. Sheppard would form a great pairing with Gradey Dick to lead the second unit offence, and could single-handedly revamp the Raptors scoring struggles from a year ago.