The Toronto Raptors have had a forgettable season, to say the least. The Raptors had been formally eradicated from playoff competition for the primary time in 8 seasons as they simply couldn’t overcome what appeared like an entire tidal wave of dangerous luck that ruined the season earlier than it even started. This Raptors draft shall be extra essential than the NBA Draft has been in years.
With the season formally a wash, the main target has now shifted in direction of the NBA draft. The Raptors maintain the seventh-best odds on the No. 1 decide with a 7.5% probability and have a 31.9% probability at a top-four decide.
The 2021 draft class is without doubt one of the deepest ones in latest reminiscence, which bodes very nicely for a Raptors group that wants a franchise cornerstone to pull them out of the doldrums.
The consensus top-four prospects embody Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, and Jalen Inexperienced. All of whom are seen as a tier above the remaining and are anticipated to make big impacts for his or her new groups.
If the Raptors find yourself choosing at seven and even drop a few spots, they’re nonetheless in vary of choosing up a superb prospect resembling Scottie Barnes or Jalen Johnson. Nevertheless, including a top-four decide may very well be simply what the Raptors must turn into contenders within the east for years to return.
With the highest 4 prospects on this draft far forward of the remainder of the frequent rabble, which of those game-changers ought to the Raptors prioritize. From finest to worst, let’s study them.
How ought to the highest 4 prospects be ordered on the Raptors draft board?
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA – MARCH 21: Cade Cunningham #2 of the Oklahoma State Cowboys(Picture by Gregory Shamus/Getty Pictures)
1. Cade Cunningham, PG, Oklahoma State
The clear primary decide on this draft, Cade Cunningham is a nightmare for opposing groups. Standing at 6-8 and 220 kilos, Cunningham’s measurement paired together with his playmaking and scoring means has NBA entrance places of work drooling over the potential for drafting him.
Cunningham’s measurement permits him to play the 1-3 positions, even the 4 in small-ball conditions. Cunningham would immediately turn into the Raptors start line guard, preserving VanVleet on the 2-guard. This is able to proceed the pattern of the 2 level guard beginning lineup that the Raptors have run with the final 2 seasons.
Toronto Raptors draft: Cade Cunningham can do all of it.
It’s arduous to observe Cunningham and never instantly see Luka Doncic. Cunningham’s playmaking means is best than any participant at present on the Raptors. He’s able to making each move within the e book and does so with ease.
Each VanVleet and OG Anunoby would profit significantly from Cunningham’s means to kick it to open shooters, whereas Siakam would reap the benefits of Cunningham’s playmaking means within the pick-and-roll.
The Raptors have struggled to discover a true “nearer” within the clutch for the reason that departure of Kawhi Leonard. Cunningham is greater than able to creating his personal shot and getting a bucket when counted on.
His measurement permits him to bully his manner into the paint for simple factors on smaller defenders, whereas his bounce shot retains defenders on their toes. In his lone faculty season at Oklahoma State, he shot 40% from behind the arc. His improved mid-range sport exhibits that he’s able to being a 3-level scorer, one thing that the Raptors desperately want.
On protection, Cunningham is at his finest when he’s guarding wings due to his measurement/size. He has nice athleticism for his measurement, nevertheless it’s a troublesome ask for him to defend fast/artful guards for many of the sport.
The Raptors have only a 7.5% probability at touchdown the primary decide, but when the lottery balls go the Raptors manner, Cade Cunningham can be a straightforward choice for Masai Ujiri.