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Draft

Recalibrating for draft week

Let’s get our bearings.

So, that was some NBA weekend. The No. 1 pick is being traded within the Atlantic Division, Paul George could be on the move, and the NBA’s 365-day-a-year chaos machine continues to churn out entertainment.

From the Toronto Raptors perspective, not a lot of this resonates in a material way. George being on the market is fun to think on, but even on a one-year rental, the Raptors probably can’t make an offer competitive enough to beat the market (there are some three-way scenarios they could maybe get involved in, mind you). The Sixers-Celtics swap doesn’t necessarily make a dramatic difference, either – the Celtics keep their war-chest well-stocked and the 76ers continue to look dangerous in the not-so-distant future, but both of those things were true anyway, there’s just a shift in asset timeline. If nothing else, it’s a reminder that there will always be someone in your way, but whether that makes blowing things up more or less justifiable is a matter of personal perspective. And as for the impact on Kyle Lowry’s free agency, I actually don’t see the deal making a huge difference – while the Sixers now have a point guard, he’s 6-foot-5, Lowry’s played off the ball a ton, too, and Philly can make a more compelling case that they’ll be good soon. I don’t think Lowry going there is exceptionally likely, but I don’t think the odds have changed dramatically here.

Again, it’s been fun, but nothing has happened that’s all that tangible for your Raptors. After a few mostly quiet weeks, things figure to heat up now. The NBA Draft takes place on Thursday, with media availability with president Masai Ujiri on Tuesday to further set the table for that, and free agency and Las Vegas Summer League will follow in short order. The biggest questions facing the Raptors trickle from one big free agency decision, but for the present week, it’s all eyes on the draft board.

As usual with the Raptors, it’s a little difficult to get a handle on what they may be thinking. We know based on management precedent that the Raptors care not for consensus rankings and won’t shy away from taking their guy, whoever that may be at No. 23. They’ve tepidly talked of potentially trading into the second round for another pick, too. There’s always the chance the pick could be moved, as well (more on that later this week). Not only is the usual quiet out of the Raptors camp difficult to shine light on, but the team picking so late in the first round means that rumors are mostly scarce right now, and that a whole lot hinges on how a very wide-open draft plays out before their pick. The spread on some prospects, particularly after the top six or top 11 or 12 (depending on who you ask, this draft falls off after a certain point and remains good but with varying opinions on who belongs in the next class) makes it especially hard to peg down who could be available.

What we do know is that the Raptors brought in 51 players for pre-draft workouts. It’s just one small part of the entire draft process, but it’s the one we get the most information on. As always, the Raptors only have a certain amount of control over who they could bring in and when – lottery picks aren’t going to work out for a team with the No. 23 pick, travel and logistics factor in, a few players pulled out with injury, and so on. Unlike last year, the Raptors have not held an off-site workout, though they have attended some agency-run pro/camp days. (There are occasionally rumblings of private workouts, as there were last year, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for Toronto this time around). And again, those single-day workouts are just a sliver, an intimate but not necessarily predictive part of a vast information-gathering process. It’s nothing worth fretting about or trying to get clear answers from.

Still, it’s all we know. Here’s a look at the 51 players the Raptors brought in to BioSteel Centre:

Player Date Note Average High Low
Ike Anigbogu 17-May Interview only 20.4 15 28
T.J. Leaf 17-May 29.1 20 40
Semi Ojeleye 17-May 32.3 20 71
Tyler Lydon 17-May 33.7 17 49
Caleb Swanigan 17-May 34.1 27 45
Johnathan Motley 18-May 47.7 35 99
Dillon Brooks 18-May 49.6 38 77
Devin Robinson 22-May 50.0 36 94
Wesley Iwundu 22-May 50.1 23 105
Jonathan Jeanne 22-May Medical condition 50.1 15 93
Tyler Dorsey 22-May 51.6 42 73
Kyle Kuzma 22-May 53.0 43 89
Sindarius Thornwell 22-May 53.8 41 80
P.J. Dozier 7-Jun 54.8 38 105
Damyean Dotson 23-May 60.1 55 70
Kobi Simmons 23-May 61.1 45 82
Dwayne Bacon 23-May 64.6 51 105
Nigel Hayes 23-May 71.6 59 80
Kennedy Meeks 23-May 72.9 36 92
Isaiah Briscoe 23-May 84.4 67 105
Isaac Humphries 30-May 85.3 49 105
Troy Caupain 30-May 96.3 44 105
Antonius Cleveland 30-May 96.7 85 105
Austin Nichols 30-May 96.9 74 105
Chance Comanche 30-May 100.1 88 105
T.J. Williams 30-May 103.0 98 105
Justin Jackson 17-May Withdraw N/A N/A N/A
Rawle Alkins 5-Jun Withdraw N/A N/A N/A
Jonathan Williams 5-Jun Withdraw N/A N/A N/A
Markis McDuffie 6-Jun Withdraw N/A N/A N/A
MiKyle McIntosh 6-Jun Withdraw N/A N/A N/A
Dylan Ennis 5-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Jeremy Hollowell 5-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Rashawn Thomas 5-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Tyler Cavanaugh 5-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Xavier Rathan-Mayes 6-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Sebastian Saiz 6-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Nate Britt 6-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Scoochie Smith 6-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Matt Jones 7-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Jordan Matthews 7-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Matt Thomas 7-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Justin Tuoyo 7-Jun N/R N/R N/R
JJ Frazier 7-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Quinton Hooker 7-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Hassan Martin 13-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Paul Watson 13-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Kasey Hill 13-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Luke Fischer 13-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Seth Allen 13-Jun N/R N/R N/R
Naz Mitrou-Long 13-Jun N/R N/R N/R

Notable here is that, compared to earlier posts like this, several of the names the Raptors worked out have climbed the rankings. Some have fallen, too, but a handful of the “unranked” names people gave the “Who He Play For” treatment to in our draft write-ups have since started appearing on top-100 lists. That doesn’t mean they’re on the radar at No. 23, of course, but it does suggest that the wide net the Raptors have cast in this process to potentially unearth some undrafted free agent gems are gathering momentum.

As a look back, here are our workout notes from each session. (As a side-note, no player came in for a second workout this year.)

  • May 17: Dylan Ennis, T.J. Williams, Rawle Alkins, Jeremy Hollowell, Rashawn Thomas, Tyler Lydon
  • May 18: T.J. Leaf, Tyler Cavanaugh
  • May 22: Tyler Dorsey, Kobi Simmons, Dillon Brooks, Semi Ojeleye, Markis McDuffie, Jonathan Williams
  • May 23: Isaiah Briscoe, Xavier Rathan-Mayes, Justin Jackson, MiKyle McIntosh, Sebastian Saiz, Jonathan Motley
  • May 30Nate Britt, Scoochie Smith, Damyean Dotson, Antonius Cleveland, Caleb Swanigan, Austin Nichols
  • June 5Matt Jones, Jordan Matthews, Matt Thomas, P.J. Dozier, Justin Tuoyo, Kennedy Meeks
  • June 6Wesley Iwundu, Devin Robinson, J.J. Frazier, Quinton Hooker, Hassan Martin, Paul Watson
  • June 7Kasey Hill, Troy Caupain, Nigel Hayes, Kyle Kuzma, Ike Anigbogu, Jonathan Jeanne, Luke Fischer
  • June 13: Sindarius Thornwell, Seth Allen, Naz Mitrou-Long, Dwayne Bacon, Chance Comanche, Isaac Humphries

Here’s an updated look at the rankings from Chad Ford of ESPN, DraftExpress, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor, and Joshua Riddell, plus Kevin Pelton‘s statistical rankings. If a player was not ranked by Ford, DX, or Riddell, they received a 105 (O’Connor’s rankings only go to 60). Pelton’s rankings were weighted less in the average, and some players did not have sufficient statistical data for him to give a ranking to.

Rank Player Ford Express O’Connor Riddell Pelton Average High Low
1 Markelle Fultz 1 1 1 1 4 1.3 1 4
2 Lonzo Ball 2 2 3 3 1 2.3 1 3
3 Jonathan Isaac 6 9 5 4 2 5.6 2 9
4 Jayson Tatum 4 4 2 7 28 6.9 2 28
5 Josh Jackson 3 3 6 2 34 6.9 2 34
6 Dennis Smith 8 7 8 9 6 7.8 6 9
7 De’Aaron Fox 5 5 4 5 38 8.4 4 38
8 Malik Monk 7 6 7 8 32 9.8 6 32
9 Zach Collins 9 17 15 6 5 11.0 5 17
10 Lauri Markkanen 10 8 13 13 13 11.2 8 13
11 Frank Ntilikina 11 10 9 10 23 11.4 9 23
12 OG Anunoby 13 14 11 16 7 12.8 7 16
13 Donovan Mitchell 15 11 10 14 25 13.9 10 25
14 John Collins 16 12 20 17 12 15.8 12 20
15 Luke Kennard 14 13 12 26 31 17.9 12 31
16 Jarrett Allen 18 18 19 11 35 18.6 11 35
17 Justin Patton 21 28 14 15 21 19.7 14 28
18 Ike Anigbogu 19 15 28 19 22 20.4 15 28
19 Anzejs Pasecniks 26 21 17 24 33 23.2 17 33
20 Terrance Ferguson 17 24 24 30 23.8 17 30
21 Jawun Evans 30 29 22 12 37 24.8 12 37
22 Isaiah Hartenstein 29 19 44 20 24.9 19 44
23 Harry Giles 12 26 31 29 42 26.4 12 42
24 D.J. Wilson 28 23 18 27 47 26.6 18 47
25 Tony Bradley 22 40 30 28 9 27.7 9 40
26 Justin Jackson 25 16 26 25 78 29.1 16 78
27 T.J. Leaf 20 36 40 22 26 29.1 20 40
28 Bam Adebayo 23 34 27 23 50 29.3 23 50
29 Derrick White 41 25 25 32 43 32.1 25 43
30 Semi Ojeleye 34 20 21 35 71 32.3 20 71
31 Josh Hart 37 51 35 21 8 32.9 8 51
32 Tyler Lydon 33 22 49 39 17 33.7 17 49
33 Caleb Swanigan 32 27 32 40 45 34.1 27 45
34 Ivan Rabb 24 30 33 49 48 35.6 24 49
35 Jordan Bell 31 35 29 37 69 37.0 29 69
36 Mathias Lessort 49 32 41 34 40 39.1 32 49
37 Monte Morris 36 61 60 18 3 39.2 3 61
38 Alec Peters 39 31 58 44 16 40.0 16 58
39 Frank Jackson 27 33 37 69 39 41.2 27 69
40 Jonah Bolden 40 44 16 52 68 41.3 16 68
41 Thomas Bryant 50 37 48 55 18 44.2 18 55
42 Cameron Oliver 48 55 38 50 41 47.0 38 55
43 Sterling Brown 45 45 34 59 58 47.1 34 59
44 Johnathan Motley 35 39 43 48 99 47.7 35 99
45 Edmond Sumner 38 54 57 36 73 49.2 36 73
46 Dillon Brooks 43 38 54 77 49.6 38 77
47 Devin Robinson 46 49 36 47 94 50.0 36 94
48 Wesley Iwundu 54 53 23 43 105 50.1 23 105
49 Jonathan Jeanne 93 42 33 15 50.1 15 93
50 Tyler Dorsey 44 47 42 73 52 51.6 42 73
51 Frank Mason 42 41 50 62 83 52.6 41 83
52 Kyle Kuzma 47 43 46 58 89 53.0 43 89
53 Sindarius Thornwell 59 57 45 41 80 53.8 41 80
54 P.J. Dozier 53 52 51 38 105 54.8 38 105
55 Alpha Kaba 61 66 53 30 55.7 30 66
56 Davon Reed 57 62 39 76 53 57.9 39 76
57 L.J. Peak 84 46 47 31 105 57.9 31 105
58 Jaron Blossomgame 62 50 59 42 100 58.4 42 100
59 Aleksandar Vezenkov 87 65 51 11 59.6 11 87
60 Damyean Dotson 55 59 56 70 61 60.1 55 70
61 Kobi Simmons 52 76 45 82 61.1 45 82
62 Chris Boucher 56 86 65 24 62.6 24 86
63 V.J. Beachem 66 67 55 64 64 63.1 55 67
64 Dwayne Bacon 51 74 52 61 105 64.6 51 105
65 Andrew White 71 68 53 57 85 64.8 53 85
66 Luke Kornet 77 69 71 27 65.9 27 77
67 Vlatko Cancar 105 56 46 56 67.1 46 105
68 Nigel Hayes 64 80 77 59 71.6 59 80
69 Derrick Walton Jr. 68 73 105 14 72.3 14 105
70 Kennedy Meeks 63 92 82 36 72.9 36 92
71 Kadeem Allen 73 64 67 105 73.3 64 105
72 Nigel Williams-Goss 74 58 81 88 73.4 58 88
73 Melo Trimble 70 84 78 54 74.0 54 84
74 Eric Mika 60 82 105 57 78.7 57 105
75 Isaiah Hicks 58 60 105 105 78.7 58 105
76 Jamel Artis 75 91 60 105 79.6 60 105
77 James Blackmon Jr. 82 83 105 29 81.3 29 105
78 Jake Wiley 105 63 74 87 81.6 63 105
79 Alberto Abalde 105 48 105 55 81.6 48 105
80 Malcolm Hill 76 105 80 51 81.9 51 105
81 Wesley Alves Da Silva 86 94 68 82.7 68 94
82 Malcolm Hill 105 79 83 51 83.6 51 105
83 Rolands Smits 105 77 66 92 84.0 66 105
84 Isaiah Briscoe 67 71 105 105 84.4 67 105
85 London Perrantes 105 105 56 63 85.0 56 105
86 Jeremy Morgan 83 105 105 10 85.1 10 105
87 Isaac Humphries 79 90 105 49 85.3 49 105
88 Amile Jefferson 72 105 72 105 86.1 72 105
89 Ognjen Jaramaz 105 75 79 95 87.6 75 105
90 Paris Bass 65 105 105 70 88.6 65 105
91 Marko Guduric 105 105 63 75 88.7 63 105
92 Ben Moore 99 105 54 105 79 89.4 54 105
93 Peter Jok 69 87 105 105 89.6 69 105
94 Marcus Keene 78 105 105 60 90.9 60 105
95 Kris Jenkins 81 105 105 62 92.0 62 105
96 Antonio Blakeney 80 96 105 86 92.6 80 105
97 Justin Robinson 105 105 105 19 92.7 19 105
98 Derek Willis 105 105 105 20 92.9 20 105
99 Amida Brimah 105 70 105 95 93.6 70 105
100 George de Paula 105 72 105 94.0 72 105
101 Michael Young 105 81 105 83 95.0 81 105
102 Youssoupha Fall 90 105 105 66 95.1 66 105
103 Ilimane Diop 105 105 75 97 95.3 75 105
104 Moses Kingsley 89 105 105 72 95.7 72 105
105 Kenan Sipahi 88 105 105 76 96.0 76 105
106 Troy Caupain 105 105 105 44 96.3 44 105
107 Antonio Campbell 105 105 105 46 96.6 46 105
108 Antonius Cleveland 96 85 105 105 96.7 85 105
109 Austin Nichols 92 105 105 74 96.9 74 105
110 Deonte Burton 105 78 105 105 97.3 78 105
111 Zak Irvin 85 105 105 96 98.0 85 105
112 JaJuan Johnson 105 93 105 85 98.7 85 105
113 Tidjan Keita 105 89 105 99.7 89 105
114 Chance Comanche 105 88 105 105 100.1 88 105
115 Simon Birgander 92 105 105 100.7 92 105
116 Jabari Bird 91 105 105 105 101.0 91 105
117 Przemek Karnowski 100 97 105 105 101.3 97 105
118 Sidy Dijtte 105 95 105 105 102.1 95 105
119 Nedim Buza 98 105 105 102.7 98 105
120 James Birsen 97 105 105 105 102.7 97 105
121 Ismael Bako 105 99 105 103.0 99 105
122 T.J. Williams 105 98 105 105 103.0 98 105
123 Trevor Thompson 105 100 105 105 103.6 100 105

Those are just rankings, though, and don’t necessarily tell us who the Raptors could be choosing between at No. 23. If you’re looking at mock drafts to get a handle on things, a few notes to keep in mind: the Raptors rarely leak, and few ever nail their actual picks; this draft is particularly wide open and subject to fluctuation outside of the lottery; and analyses have shown that while Chad Ford nails the most picks correctly, DraftExpress boasts the most accurate mocks overall, and those two are a fair margin above the rest of the field.

And so in addition to the rankings, here are a look at the players Ford and DX both have mocked as going outside of the lottery and who at least one mock has going sometime in the first round, which should give us a rough range of who the Raptors could be looking at when on the clock (though again, they have shown they’ll make a perceived reach based on their own board over what the market/league says, as they should).

Player Ford DX
Harry Giles 15 17
Ike Anigbogu 17 22
T.J. Leaf 18 20
Jarrett Allen 19 15
Bam Adebayo 20 18
Justin Jackson 21 16
Justin Patton 22 19
Anzejs Pasecniks 23 23
Tony Bradley 24 2nd
Frank Jackson 25 2nd
Isaiah Hartenstein 26 30
Terrance Ferguson 27 27
D.J. Wilson 28 24
Jordan Bell 29 2nd
Tyler Lydon 30 28
Semi Ojeleye 2nd 25
Derrick White 2nd 26
Ivan Rabb 2nd 29

We’ll have more coverage over the course of the week, including coverage of Ujiri’s availability, a column or two on strategies for the pick in general, and a mailbag (you have to tweet me the Qs though, not leave them in the comments, as it’s much easier for formatting that way). In the meantime, I’m curious to hear where people land on the names that could be available at No. 23, who has moved up or down your theoretical boards, if the other moves around the NBA change your opinion on strategy, and so on.

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