|2017-18 W/L: 59-23||2018-19 W/L: 58-24|
Finished 2nd in the eastern conference (Won NBA Championship)
Team Needs: SG, SF, C
Pick 1: 2nd Round-59th Overall
Players who could be available and fit with this pick:
The Raptors entered this season after some disappointing finishes in the playoff over the last few seasons, and with some uncertainity regarding the status of Kawhi Leonard after the season. The gamble of bringing in Leonard when he was not guaranteed to be more than a one year rental, along with bringing in Marc Gasol proved to be a smart move as the Raptors broke through and won the franchises first NBA championship. There is still uncertainty surrounding what Leonard will do and many analysts are reporting that he will not be returning to Toronto, however even if he does go to another franchise in free agency he will have made a major impact on the team and city as a whole. Danny Green who is a solid role player will be a free agent and as with Leonard not many analysts expect Gasol to be returning to the team next year. Fred VanVleet shined in the NBA Finals and he played well up to that point, leading to the belief that he may be entering a larger role challenging Kyle Lowry for more floor time at point guard. In addition to VanVleet, Pascal Siakam has blossomed into one of the young stars in the league, and he could be a focal point of the franchise for many years to come especially after the expected roster turnover this off season and next. They have some big contracts that will be expiring after next season so they are limited in the amount of money they can use to sign players, which will make their repeat attempt that much more difficult. Regardless of how they perform next season the team is likely to look very different in a few years but in the mean time they should remain competitive although they are not likely to be the same level of contender as they were in this postseason.
Toronto has one draft pick this year which will allow them to put all of their scouting efforts into prospects expected to fall in their range, unless they are thinking of moving some assets to obtain more picks. Picking at #59 with the second to last selection means their choice will largely depend on what players are still available when they are put on the clock. They could select a point guard if they do not believe VanVleet can be a long term starter for life after Kyle Lowry, but with his play this past season they could be thinking of locking him down on a long term deal. If they do want to choose a point guard, Jaylen Hands, Jalen Lecque, Jared Harper, Shamorie Ponds, Kerwin Roach II, and Justin Wright-Foreman are all projected to be in the late second round or undrafted range. Daquan Jeffries would be a similar type of player to Leonard coming out of college, however his upside is not considered as high as Leonard’s was out of San Diego State. Cody Martin, Joshua Obiesie, and Deividas Sirvydis would all be able to play small forward and hopefully for the teams sake develop into successful professionals while Quinndary Weatherspoon and Terence Davis can score/defend at a high level. Moses Brown would fit well with the long and athletic type of players that the Raptors have favored at times, while there are plenty of other options at center that could potentially help fill the roster hole that they are likely to have after free agency. If we were drafting for Toronto we would take a point guard depending on who is available at #59, or a versatile center that both stretch the floor with outside shooting and also score inside.