Earlier today, while Raptors fans were all minding their own business, Marc Stein dropped this on us.
Draft scuttle: Hearing Toronto is exploring all of its trade options in hopes of assembling a deal to acquire a draft pick high enough to select Kentucky's Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 18, 2018
Who would’ve thought that the draft pick-less Raps would be making headlines on the Monday before the Draft? Crazy stuff. Stein even added that nobody is off limits on Toronto’s roster.
This is, if nothing else, pretty interesting given that we just published an article detailing why it’s incredibly unlikely the Raps deal DeRozan and Lowry.
As somebody who hasn’t scouted the guy given that he’s projected to be a lottery pick and the Raptors don’t have a pick at all, two things stand out about Shai Gilgeous-Alexander. The first is that, of course, he is Canadian, growing up and going to highschool in Hamilton. He joins the new-wave of young Canadian lottery picks from recent drafts including Jamaal Murray and Andrew Wiggins. The other is that, well, he’s a pointguard. At 6″6, SGA fits the Delon Wright mold of a super-long PG. Interest in SGA is very odd given the influx of PGs the Raps have.
Next question… where exactly is Gilgeous-Alexander going to go in the draft? Which pick are we looking at in this scenario?
Sense around the league seems to be that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is unlikely to fall past Charlotte at No. 11. Has been a quiet predraft process for him, but the 8–11 range feels like his sweet spot.
— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) June 18, 2018
So, he’s not slipping past 11. If Gilgeous-Alexander really is the play, the price to go into the top-10 would be incredibly substantial. Would Lowry be the one to go in a hypothetical trade for a top-10 pick? It’s a high price and thus would certainly make sense for it to be a PG going the other way.
The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, who is locked in on the draft, had this to say:
Interesting. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander grew up one hour from Toronto. He hasn't worked out for any teams. He declined to name which teams he met with at the Combine. He hasn't even done much media since. ??? https://t.co/y2q1vXMRKa
— Kevin O'Connor (@KevinOConnorNBA) June 18, 2018
The lack of media angle is interesting, however probably doesn’t have much to do with the Raptors. It’s not overly unusual for a player who may not be picked in the top-1o to forgo working out for teams.
This is what’s important to remember here:
As always at this time of year, it’s worth remembering that all info is put out there for a reason. Even the good info.
— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) June 18, 2018
Everything is put out for a reason. This applied for the Kawhi leak, and it applies here. There are many different smokescreens, especially in the days leading up to the draft. Could the Raps be trying to create a market for their assets? Could they have their sights set on a different player in the lottery? Could it be a different team leaking this? Who knows.
It still remains unlikely that a deal will happen, but at least we got an entertaining Monday afternoon.