On Tuesday, the NBA will hold it’s annual Draft Lottery to determine who selects where on June 26. For a change, this has no impact on the Toronto Raptors, who will select at numbers 20, 37 and 59 this year.

That raises the question as to who you would like to see the team draft. Tim W. has been doing some work covering prospects but as the draft draws closer, we’ll want to focus in even more on players that are being tied to the Raptors via buzz or RR comments. Here’s how Draft Express and ESPN currently have the 15-25 range looking, though the combine that took place this week will surely change things next week.

Selection ESPN DX
15 James Young James Young
16 PJ Hairston TJ Warren
17 Clint Capela Kyle Anderson
18 Cleanthony Early Clint Capela
19 Adreian Payne KJ McDaniels
20 Jerami Grant Jerami Grant
21 Jusuf Nurkic Adreian Payne
22 KJ McDaniels Rodney Hood
23 Elfrid Payton Kristaps Porzingis
24 TJ Warren PJ Hairston
25 Rodney Hood Jordan Adams

Obviously, the issue with thinking about these things now is that there is a ton of fluidity in the picks in that range. We also don’t have a clue what the Raptors are going to do this offseason, but that’s still going to be true on draft night, so it’s of little concern this early.

All we really want to hear this weekend is who you want and why, and what you think the Raptors’ approach to the draft should be. We’ll try our best to sort through the comments and guide some pre-draft content in the direction of the themes therein.

Have a good weekend everyone!

  • Stu Jackson

    Kyle anderson fits perfectly with ross and derozan

    • ian

      But he can’t defend anyone.

      • Ryan

        Yea & Derozan isn’t exactly the best defender, we need Defence and Offence

  • noname

    if they projected adreian payne 21st, then screw grant and pick payne.

    • Mcleodxx

      I’d be happy with any of the following:

      Tyler Ennis
      PJ Hariston
      KJ McDaniels
      Kyle Anderson

      • noname

        ennis won’t fit unless lowry leaves. And I hear anderson has no defense. But the other two seem like they could shore up our wing spot while not destroying our cap. Then maybe we can go after monroe, get rid of hans, hayes, fields, salmons. Resign vaz, lowry and patterson. we could then get a big backup C using the mle but if not then just use small ball off the bench with amir and 2pat.

        • noname

          hayes and fields are now expiring contracts so we can get rid of them effectively.

  • jacobdr4

    I’m really surprised kyle Anderson isn’t in their 15-25 range but definitely him.

  • dre

    Payne is a good option if Masai approves. Anderson if available due to upside but lacks strength.

  • northerntouch

    McDaniels. We need a solid wing defense and from all the write ups, he seems to be the guy. Easier to pick up shooters in FA than guys that defend hard.

  • WJF

    TJ Warren please!

  • blackjitsu

    Deandre Daniels is the only SF who can defend the wing, post, and also has an offensive game. Yes, he can disappear, but he plays big during big games. Either him or Payton — a young, long PG who plays the position like a grizzled vet.

  • GreenArrow

    Adrien Payne is who we need. Atheltic, can stretch the D and plays with a chip on his shoulder. If we lose Patterson, he could easily step in play meaningful minutes

  • Guest

    I want either Cleanthony Early, TJ Warren or Adrein Payne. The 2 sf’s would be good back ups with size. And Payne can provide depth in case Patterson doesn’t come back.

  • SnapCracklePapeSow

    Ejim with one of the second rounders would be the dream

    • SnapCracklePapeSow

      But as for the first rounder, I think Payne is a no brainer if he’s still on the board at 20

  • caccia

    P. J. Hairston is ready to step in off the bench and produce. He is a fine three-point shooter and has the height and speed to be a fine defender. This team needs a backup to DeRozan.

  • EmarErozan

    Tyler Ennis is going to drop. He is the guy we want.

    • mountio

      no way he drops to anywhere near 20

  • help me i’m on welfare

    Early would be a perfect fit. He plays team ball but has star potential.
    I think he has good size, high IQ, and is a winner.

  • Elfridpaytonsmanner

    Is it reaching to select Shabazz Napier at 20? If so this draft is deeeep to the 40s

  • bcjay

    My thoughts would lead towards elfrid payton. Athleticism at the point is a complete necessity for the raptors. Nando de Colo is not going to replace Lowry’s minutes if he leaves.

  • Chef

    I don’t follow college ball close enough to name favourite players, but I vote for a big, athletic SF with sound defensive instincts (offensive skills would be nice too, of course). Even though we are now a winning team and want to stay that way, I still think we need to draft based on players’ ceilings, not their ability to contribute in year 1. Improvements next season should come from roster development and modest, targeted free agent signings/trades.

  • ha

    The question is phrased poorly. Who do I want? Joel Embiid

  • Meductic

    #1 need, a big to handle overpowering centers, so… Nurkic @ 20, or Mitch Mcgarry @ 37 if healthy, or failing those Patrick Young @ 59. One of them has to drop

  • bcjay

    Hey, first time posting, Elfrid Payton would be my choice. Strong guard play was the single most consistent assett of the Raptors. Continuing to stock and create that system will ensure longevity anf flexibility. Also TRoss can play three…. sometime in the gym will enhance his skillset. Showing faith in this young man will pay off.

    • c_bcm

      welcome to the shit-show bcjay.

  • OakTree

    Ujiri has already said that they will try to bring back Lowry, Vasquez and De Colo. So, if Ujiri signs 3 point guards in free agency, I very much doubt that he’ll draft one.

    Also, with Vasquez playing some 2 along with DeMar and T Ross, the depth is already there at shooting guard as well. So, I think we can safely rule out drafting a guard at all.

    Salmons and Hansbrough weren’t fantastic this past season, and their contracts are up. However, they both had roles on the team that will need to be filled either through free agency or the draft. So, I expect Ujiri to take a big wing or a physical big in the draft.

    The options for a big wing at the 20th pick seem pretty good. The names to watch out for are Jerami Grant, KJ McDaniels, Rodney Hood, TJ Warren and Kyle Anderson.

    The pickings get very slim for a big at the 20th pick, though Adriean Payne and/or Clint Capela may be available. Also, Patric Young in the second round seems like a good pick.

    If I were a betting man, I’d bet that one of those names will be on the Raptors roster next year.

    One distinct possibility is that the Raptors move up by packaging their 20th pick with the second round pick to select a player somewhere in the teens. I anticipate that Ujiri would like to make this move, as the team really doesn’t need to get any younger. One rookie on the roster next year is enough.

    Jerami Grant looks like he’ll be really solid defensively. He’s got great size and athleticism. On offense, however, his upside seems very limited. He’s not a playmaker, and he has a broken jump shot. Right now he’s limited to garbage buckets, but if he could fix his jump shot he could be useful as a spot up shooter in midrange.

    KJ McDaniels is interesting, but not really a big wing, though he plays bigger than his size. Physically and athletically, he reminds me of Iguodala. A little short for a SF, but makes up for it by being very long and he has great bounce. I can’t see him as a small ball PF, and I think Ujiri would prefer someone that is a bit of a tweener.

    Long term, I think he has the most potential as a two way player out of the wings available at 20 (I think it’s unlikely TJ Warren and Kyle Anderson are still available at 20). He was the man at Clemson, and gained a reputation as a low efficiency volume mid range shooter. I expect that his efficiency will improve when he’s asked to be a role player instead of the star.

    He can shoot a bit, can handle the ball a bit, and he can really get after the offensive boards. He needs to improve in all areas, but the skills are already there. Defensively he looks fantastic. He’ll force a lot of turnovers, and there won’t be too many match ups at SF that he’ll be either to small or too slow to guard in the NBA.

    Clint Capela is very intriguing. If he maximizes his talent, he could be the steal of the draft. He is very long, even for a PF, and very fluid athletically. He can finish with a soft touch around the rim, with either hand, and has a quick first step going left or right (amazingly ambidextrous, considering how big and how raw he is). Defensively, he’ll get some blocks in the NBA. However, like most young bigs, he needs to get stronger to contend for rebounds and finish through contact. Also, he’s a 45% free throw shooter. That’s really bad, and if he can’t improve in that area it’ll keep him off the court in key situations for his entire career. He will shoot it from midrange once in a while, and he doesn’t look terrible doing it, so there’s hope that with the right coaching and dedication he could be a guy that the defense has to respect his jumper.

    One last guy I want to mention is Kyle Anderson. I love Kyle Anderson’s game, and if he’s available at 20, I think he’s our guy. I also think that he may be worth moving up for. He’s a 6’9″ point guard with a massive 7’3″ wingspan. He was a point guard at UCLA, though I expect he’ll play mostly SF in the NBA. His court vision and passing is really unusual for a player his size. He can legitimately run the offense from the SF position. Also, last year he was an outstanding shooter, which is an area of his game that has really improved. He can shoot with his feet set, off the dribble, and fading away. Offensively, he definitely needs refinement, but he looks like the complete package, and maybe the best of the names I mentioned (depending on how you feel about TJ Warren).

    On defense he definitely needs to improve. He needs to get stronger, and quicker. It does look like he has room to grow in these areas, as there are some questions about his conditioning. Personally, I don’t see a problem with a college player that doesn’t have great conditioning, simply because they’re students, and have other things to do. As a pro, it’s a different matter, and with the right training he could get much better. Also, length makes up for quickness in a lot of areas. The athletic criticisms directed at Kyle Anderson remind me of the ones against MCW last year (and we all know how MCW turned out). OK, he’s not very quick, but he’s still extremely long for his position, and that counts for a lot.

    To summarize, I think the Raptors should target Kyle Anderson. Otherwise, there are some options at 20 that make sense for the roster.

    • Anthony

      Werd. Anderson won’t be available at 20. His upside is too much
      To pass up on. We’ll definitely try to
      Up and land him
      As it makes the most sense for our current roster (lacking at the 3 spot).
      For free agents ujiri
      Is strongly pursuing deng and he would make a great role model
      For a
      Developing Kyle Anderson. However I think landing deng is a long shot and Anderson could end up with the starting
      Spot by his sophomore season.

      • Ian

        No, but seriously guys, have you seen Kyle Anderson play? He’s not just a bad defender (from an athletic stand point) he’s brutal. It’s a huge question mark whether this guy will be able to stay on the floor. I honestly don’t remember watching a slower, more limited athlete. UCLA ran a zone SPECIFICALLY for Anderson to hide in and collect easy steals. The raptors can’t afford a to have another offensive player on the team who has to be hidden on defence. Demar, Vasquez, these guys need to be hidden. If Anderson were merely a poor defender, I’d bite, because its true, 6″9 point guards are pretty rare, I just think if you go that route, you are essentially committing to this guy the team – which he won’t get on this raptors team. Remember how raptor fans used to hate on Calderon’s defence incessantly? Kyle Anderson would get it much worse.

        Personally, I would like to see a 3 &D SF, Gary Harris would have been perfect if not for him measuring out at the size of a PG playing SG (although his combination of defence and shooting reminds me a lot of Oladipo). It seems at the SF position this late in the draft there are a lot of flawed players: you have guys who can’t defend, guys who can’t score, guys who can score but can’t shoot, but you don’t see a really genuine complete player.

        We have other needs other than SF, PF would look mighy thin if 2pat doesn’t resign. Adrein Payne would provide a very impersonation of 2pat, even proving to be a bigger, more dependable rebounder than 2pat.

        I also like Jusuf Nurkic, big soft handed 280 pound big C, who could back up Jonas and provide some much needed size upfront. Not much of a shot blocker, but he would provide good positional defence and rebounding, plus he has soft hands – which is always great for a big man.

        Personally, if it were me. I’d try to trade up and snag Aaron Gordon, he has the necessary D, and he is good enough on offence (transition, face-up game, hustle plays) to make him stick on the floor. In this scenario, he would have to split time between 3-4, and hopefully develop his corner three quick – he seems like he could one day be league average, maybe. For this to work though, the raptors would have to do something in order to preserve spacing, because Gordon ain’t a shooter.

        • GLF

          Couldn’t agree more on Kyle Anderson. He is a horrendous defender. We can’t afford to have another one of those on our team. Especially since Casey is all about D. Adrein Payne is honestly the only person that kind of impresses me at the 20th pick. Everyone else is so one dimensional. But I guess what more do you expect from the 20th pick. We will have to do A LOT of developing on which ever player we pick at 20.

        • Shurik

          Anderson is guarding smaller and quicker players. Try to chase 6ft guard for 30minutes.
          Anyways, Kyle Anderson won’t be available at 20.

          • ian

            He could be… and he is too slow for sf’s. Check he tapes again.

            • OakTree

              Salmons isn’t exactly quick, and he was our best option defensively in a lot of match ups.

              I think Kyle Anderson with the right training could be passable defensively against a lot of SFs, and in the case of a SF that relies on quickness, T Ross is the perfect guy to take that match up.

              Kyle Anderson is definitely a project, and he’s likely to get burned a lot as a rookie, but as with all prospects, it’s not so much about what he’s doing right now, as what he will be like in the future.

              He’s got a great basketball frame to fill out. He’s 230lbs, so there’s no reason for him to be getting pushed around after he adds a little muscle. He could find a good playing weight in the 240-250lb range in his prime, and will probably be able to spend some time at PF at that time.

              It’s not the talent, but the work ethic that’s the question, if he’s ever able to reach his ceiling. I never address the work ethic when evaluating a prospect, simply because I don’t have access to that information. That’s up to the professionals (Ujiri, Casey and the coaching staff) to figure out.

              The thing that really sells me on Kyle Anderson is his basketball IQ. His ability to see the floor on offense should be able to translate to the defensive end as well. With the right coaching (and I think Casey is the right coach), he could be an excellent positional defender, and with his length he has a lot of promise on that end of the floor. What’s missing right now is the conditioning and the focus.

              I think the Raptors system would be a great place for Kyle Anderson to realize his potential. San Antonio, and Chicago are two other places he could really blossom.

  • c_bcm

    Michigan State guys are always well-coached in college, and tend to do well in the NBA. Adriean Payne is the guy I would look to.

  • leftovercrack

    Adreian Payne, Rodney Hood and Jerami Grant all give me a chubby

  • ckh26

    @20 Kyle Anderson…. SF who can handle the ball … Nice replacement for John Salmons
    @37 Jarnell Stokes…. PF who can score down low… carries serious muscle at 6’9″ / 265
    Both fill needs …

  • canadiansak

    There’s a lot to like about Payne’s game, and I think he could thrive in the Raps system. Pretty well-developed offense game (for an incoming rookie), and he was a pretty proficient rebounder in college. His defense isn’t as good as a lot of people might think for someone coming from Mich. St. (has some pretty questionable vision and decision making skills), but my suspicion is that a defense-minded coach like Casey (much like Izzo) would be able to tweak the defensive system to get the most out of him on the defensive end of the floor. I do also worry a little bit about his durability, but I’m not sure there’s anyone else that we have a reasonable shot at that I’d rather take my chances with. Could be a nice young PF to compliment Jonas moving forward.

  • craptor

    I am a firm believer of drafting the BPA, regardless of position. If a real talent falls in the draft and he’s not a good “fit”, I would not hesitate to grab him. Passing over talent for positional need is asinine IMO, you have to accumulate the best assets, because they can be traded. Having looked at the mock drafts posted here, I question how recent or accurate it is, because that is not the list on the DX site. I notice one name on both lists here that is way lower than he has ever been projected all year: Rodney Hood. Of those players available at #20 listed I would grab him first. He may have some defensive deficiencies, but he has that smooth pro offensive game that I think translate well in the NBA, and be a solid player or borderline all-star.

    If he is not there, then Payne is a player I would be happy with. No TJ Warren. That NC State meltdown in the tourney really left black mark on my opinion of him. I recall myself saying that the Raptors better not draft this choker. Too harsh for the last 3 minutes of one game? Perhaps, but he just has choker written all over him ingrained in my mind.

    The Raptors say that they want to make their second round picks worth something? Just follow the SA Spurs scouts around and try to guess who they’re scouting!! Has any other team done better in the draft with shittier draft slots than the Spurs?? I would love to see the Raps take Isaiah Austin in the second round if he is available. 7’1 athletic bits with decent offensive skills don’t come by the second round often.

  • mountio

    I really like the risk reward for Mitch McGary. I would love if he falls to our 2nd round pick .. but realistically, thats not happening. I would really, really give him a hard look at #20. Its a risk for sure, but I think he brings more upside that pretty much anyone around that range.

  • BramptonCanadianProspects

    we should definitely go with payne. Dude would fit so well with the raptors! take a look http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvcswZ40Sv0

  • Matt

    Kyle Anderson is such a unique prospect at 20th, we can use the second rounder to pick up maybe GRIII or Inglis. Kyle Anderson is 1/4 or 1/8th chinese which is pretty cool, i think the chinese community would really embrace that.

  • John

    Glen Robinson 3 is our best option has size and is a pretty good shooter

    • ReubenJRD

      Not sure if GR3 has dropped to the second, or is going earlier in the draft, but I agree. Robinson had a sub-par season at Michigan in many scouts’ eyes, mainly because they all expected him to breakout into this star. One thing they never realized, is Michigan had a fantastic team offence, & for the most part wasn’t even the number 1 guy with Stauskas as the scorer.

      I hope with reason, he’s the guy we should target if he’s available, fits a quality and quantity of talent and need; a small forward that’s incredibly athletic, can shoot the 3 very well, & has the raw athleticism to be a good defender. Not to mention he’s got the size ranging between 6’6-6’7 – similar to that of Ross, but noticeably bigger & stronger.

      In this draft, however, I think Raps HAVE to go best player available. Too strong a draft to pass up on certain names, & I feel like this is a draft where higher names will fall. It really is as deep as scouts have put it out to be initially. I like Payne A LOT, I also wonder where that DeAndre guy from UConn will go, cause he’s pretty talented (not sure if he’s been talked as a first rounder). James Young is my absolute favourite though in the entire SF crop aside from Wiggins & Parker; he’s got as much potential as those guys.

  • Zyzz

    If I was Masai; I’d draft Eldrid Payton, he plays tough defense and has the size, length, athleticism and potential to become a very solid player. Although, his jump shot needs improvement, he is still a young player and it can develop over time.

  • paulyt

    kyle anderson. Big PG. How can you pass this guy up? I understand that there must be some hitches in his game for him to be available at 20th but damn, a 6’9″ guy who played pg in college? I’m sold. I’d be surprised if phoenix and chicago pass on this guy. Big guards are hard to come as they are a luxury. Defense? Go for defense at 37. 6’9″ PG. all day every day.

  • dunkmycat7

    Who do I want @ 20 ? Nobody.
    I want the Raps to trade up or to trade away the pick for the killer PF or defensive 3 we really need.
    Nobody @ 20 is going to help us…
    and here is a hilarious article on who Drake can help with…enjoy.


  • Saskatoon Raps Fan

    1. CleAnthony early- I think he’s underrated coming from a weaker conference.
    2. Adrien Payne- can contribute right away
    3. Rodney Hood- adds some shooting

    Good trade up candidates are James Young and Tyler Ennis. I’d also keep my eye on Dario Saric, if he falls into the early teens should try to move up and grab him. Could be the same situation as Jonas where teams pass on him cuz he might not come over right away

  • wrooster

    I think looking at the draft combine results would be very helpful, and based on that I don’t want KJ McDaniels, Gary Harris, Cleanthony Early or Jerami Grant. Also don’t want Kyle Anderson (too slow).
    Assuming Ennis and Stauskas are gone, my choice at #20 would be Kristaps Porzingis – stretch four with excellent help defense and good perimeter shooting. I could also live with Adrian Payne, Rodney Hood or Glenn Robinson.
    For the second round, Porzingis or Robinson might still be around at 37 (unlikely) but there are several Canadians that I think could help us: Dwight Powell or Khem Birch at PF or Melvin Ejim at SF (small ball PF?0).

    • Niagara_dude

      Please no more euro players, we have seen enough.

  • Niagara_dude

    The only thing I do not want to see if another euro player, we need to draft players who play here.I do not want to see this team start loading up on players who are white/slow and can shoot the three, but cannot move there feet and play defense.We had Steve Novak this year and he did not see the court because he stunk on defense.We did to draft players who are quick/fast /can jump and play defence.Defence is what our team is about, so please no slow euro players.

  • FenixL

    I dont know if he’ll be available but Zach LaVine is a guy i would love to have on board, his stock is only going up though. Part UCLA bias on my side though, still hell of a talent.

  • Maputo88

    Im a BPA guy so Elfrid Payton, then Adrien Payne, then KJ McDaniels, even though our greatest need is at SF.

  • m

    Adreian Payne. I’ve been beating this drum for a while now, as I’m a big MSU / Izzo fan, so have seen this guy over the last four years. The more you watch him / learn about him, the more you like him. He is:
    – A rangy and long 6’10” (ideal for legit 4 or small-ball 5)
    – Someone who already has some post moves and can play back to basket with excellent feet
    – Someone who can also shoot the ball. May take time to consistently hit an NBA three, but he can shoot.
    – Tenacious defender and rebounder, schooled in the Izzo tough-minded approach
    – To top it all off, just a great guy. Came to MSU with severe learning disability, and graduated in four years. Hard worker on and off court. Willingness to make himself improve. And if you’ve seen anything about the Lacy Hollingsworth story (google it), you know you are a getting a CLASS A person. He would fit right in with our locker room and be a huge favorite in our awesome city and country.
    Oh ya, not to mention, he fills a HUGE need as he would immediately contribute as a big off the bench, with shot blocking skills and defensive toughness.

  • ShadowXL

    I think Ujiri goes for our one glaring weakness from the post season: a strong, long, tall SF (6’8″/6’9″) who can guard multiple positions

  • rapturd

    I’d like to know more about:
    Adreian Payne – pf 6’10, 23 yrs
    Clint Capela – pf 6’11, 20yrs
    Jerami Grant -pf 6’10, 20yrs

    Zach Lavine – pg 6’6, 19yrs
    Elfrid Payton – pg 6’4, 20yrs

    Cleanthony Early -sf 6’7, 23yrs
    Glenn Robinson III- sf 6’7, 20yrs
    TJ Warren – sf/pf 6’7, 20yrs

    Any backup centers in second round

    Brother mike, who knows college basketball, please let’s hear your take on these or anyone u think we could/should get.

  • Robin

    From what I can see of the mid-top prospects, I want:

    1) TJ Warren – Paul Pierce with less range. He has a knack for making space and scoring in traffic. His court vision and handle will improve with time.

    2) Adrien Payne – Donyell Marshall in his prime. This guy is the real deal and could see an all-star game or two in his career

    3) Rodney Hood – A mobile Klay Thompson

    Size, smarts, scoring, solid athleticism and improvement in 2+ years in college almost always equals NBA success.

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