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Sunday Scaries: What should the Raptors look for in the draft?

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Everyone knows the feeling. You spend all week working towards the weekend, then Friday and Saturday go by in blur and you’re left staring down the tube of Sunday evening.

It’s like this weird anxious, sad feeling of starting work for the week. Whether it’s the hangxiety or simply the unexcitement of returning to the office, Sunday evening’s feel like the weekly last day of summer break.

That’s where I come in. I hope to make your Sunday just a touch better with some Raptors content. Will this be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly…? I don’t know, it kind of depends on how I feel waking up and if I can come up with enough content in the off-season.

This week is easy though. The draft is three days away… and then four days away, because the NBA decided it would be a good idea to make this a two day event.

I am hoping to interview a draft expert or multiple to give you guys some specific names, but for now, why not look into the needs for the Raptors in this upcoming draft.

First step is to look at the current roster.

The obvious hope is that Toronto brings back Immanuel Quickley first and foremost. As a restricted free agent, I can’t see the Raptors making him a key addition to the OG Anunoby deal without the idea of bringing him back on a longer term deal.

I do also hope that Toronto brings Gary Trent Jr. back. I’m not sure if this is an unpopular opinion, as Trent’s last couple seasons have been quite the fluctuation.

From playing time, to roll, to his contribution on the court, Raptors fans haven’t really known what to expect from Trent on the court.

I do think if he can begin to contribute off the bench, he could be a great bench scorer. He can be a good shooter and one of the rare guys on the team who can create his own shot, even though sometimes he may be a little too high on his own ability to do so.

Per NBA University on X or Twitter, or whatever you want to call it, “Gary Trent Jr. led the NBA in wide-open 3P% this season (51.3%) on 228 3PA.” If Gary can buy into a roll of playing off Quickley, RJ, and Scottie, he could be a very effective offensive player.


Lastly, it would be smart for the Raptors to pick up the option on Ochai Agbaji. As a 37% 3-point shooter across his college career, he showed his usefulness as a 3-and-D player, and I think he’s shown that in limited spurts in his NBA career. I just think he’s too useful of a bench wing to let go for $4.3 million.

As for the rest of free agency, I don’t see quite the use in trying to make a big swing for a guy like Paul George or LeBron James, in the very slim chance those become realistic options for the Raptors. Bringing back OG Anunoby would be hilarious and quite honestly a great fit, but I’m not getting my hopes up for that either.

So I’m heading into this draft assuming that we don’t bring in anyone new to fill these roles.

I see three needs for the Raptors: A backup point guard, a strong wing defender and a center.

19 and 31 are two solid selections, but also late enough in the draft to be in hit or miss territory. As outlined in a previous article, the Raptors front office has had success drafting in this range in prior year.

I see the center position being last resort. By the looks of it, a lot of people would disagree with me. With Jakob Poeltl on the books until his player option in 2026-27 and Kelly Olynyk re-upping through the end of the 2026 season, the center position is quite solid.

No, we don’t have an all star caliber player at this position, but between those two, you can most definitely get 48 productive center minutes a night. The Raptors also have Chris Boucher who can provide spurts of energy minutes as well.

As for backup point guard, the Raptors are looking to rely on Quickley and Barnes for this role. That isn’t bad, but they both will start and play heavy minutes, and you need someone to run the offense for somewhere around 10-15 minutes a game.

You could potentially look at a veteran option in free agency like Pat Bev, Reggie Jackson or Markelle Fultz who would be decent options, but to me, not good enough to not just try and develop a rookie in that role instead. I personally love Isaiah Collier and Tyler Kolek, but as I said before, I want to bring a draft expert on to tell me how stupid I am and to give me the best option.

The second option is a big defensive wing. As you saw this past year, the Celtics had 4 guys who could guard big guards and wings, and as much as they didn’t have to run into many during their playoff run, it showed all season how useful that was.

As of now, the Raptors have Scottie Barnes, but you can’t have your top player being your only good forward defender for an entire season. I know there is some potential options in this draft like Ryan Dunn, Johnny Furphy or Baylor Scheierman, but none of them stand out as someone who can really excel in this roll.



If the Raptors can grab a backup point guard and a strong wing defender in this year’s draft, i will consider this a win.

You can run Quickley, Scottie and [Insert draft pick here] at point, the guard/wing rotation can consist of RJ, Trent, Gradey, and Agbaji. Barnes and hopefully [Insert big wing draft pick here] can man the forward roll with Boucher playing a bit, and then Poeltl and Olynyk can control the paint.

To me, this is a roster (depending on how good the draft picks are) that can hold the perfect mix of young development, but also hopefully show some fight in competing for a play-in spot. Which, i know, isn’t the most exciting outlook, but I think in reality, the play-in is a positive outcome for a young and rebuilding team.


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