It is now ONE WEEK until we find out which one of Jalen Green, Evan Mobley, or Jalen Suggs will hear their name called at the 4th overall selection (based on what we’re hearing, it’ll likely be Suggs). But naturally, Raptors fans are also going to want to know some names near the latter half of the draft, as Toronto is going to have a pair of picks back to back at 46 and 47.
Last month, I covered a list of five sleeper picks who I found quite interesting and would be thrilled at picking up in the second round. Ideally, my second round for the Raptors would involve a haul of Kessler Edwards and Charles Bassey. However, I mentioned these specific players are going to be steals. It’s very likely that they could be selected before the mid 40’s on draft night, so let’s keep our options open, shall we? The Raptors bench is rather shallow, so I’ll be looking at players who I believe will be able to contribute in a bench role relatively quickly. Coming away with any sort of production in the mid second round should be considered a W, and I think these prospects are all capable of delivering.
I’m going to keep the summarizing of these players brief, as we have a lot of names to cover. Think of this as an appetizer as we head towards the draft – I hope it’ll drive up some interest in these second round prospects. To save on space, stats will be linked in the player’s name rather than posted as their own separate images.
Let’s get it.
(No relation to another A. Wiggins who you may be familiar with)
Fun fact! Did you know Aaron Wiggins opted to keep his name in the draft on the same day he completed his workout with the Raptors? I think that’s pretty interesting! Something to keep an eye on.
Wiggins’ archetype is relatively safe and straightforward as a 3&D wing. He’s shown consistent improvement in his shooting over his three years at Maryland, and is generally seen as a jack of all trades, master of none prospect. I like Wiggins, because while he provides the valuable 3&D skills expected of him, he’s also a solid athlete capable of getting up for some sweet dunks and occasional blocks. His off-ball movement is excellent as well, as he always seems to know where to relocate to in order to get open.
An intriguing point about Wiggins is how he’s capable of scoring off the dribble and has shown flashes of pulling up in the midrange. So while he projects to a 3&D role at the next level, there’s a bit of shot creation upside as well where he could be used as a spark plug off the bench. His handle isn’t advanced but it’s usable, and he’s able to use some nice spins and maneuvers on his way to the rim. It would be nice to see the Raptors bench have some scoring options for a change.
Enjoy some Wiggins tape:
Hauser is arguably the best overall shooter in the class, and there is zero question about this ability translating to the NBA as he missed out on a 50/40/90 season during his senior campaign at Virginia by 0.4% at the free throw line.
sam hauser curiously missing from many of the best shooters in the class discussions, and disregarding age one of the best shooting prospects I've ever seen pic.twitter.com/8PA7F9cPVa
— Ben Pfeifer (suns FINALS) (@Ben_Pfeifer_) July 5, 2021
To give a bit of context for Hauser’s production, let’s take a look at his career per 100 stats in college to a player he’s often compared to:
Sam Hauser: 24.7 PTS, 11.3 REB, 3.9 AST, 1.4 STL, 0.9 BLK, 2.0 TOV / 43.9% 3PT on 10.3 3PA / 88.0% FT on 3.2 FTA
Duncan Robinson: 23.0 PTS, 6.3 REB, 3.0 AST, 1.4 STL, 0.7 BLK, 1.7 TOV / 41.9% 3PT on 12.1 3PA / 86.4% FT on 3.0 FTA
A strong rebounder with the ability to make smart passes, Hauser would no doubt serve as a quality rotation piece for any team looking to make use of his floor spacing abilities. The most impressive weapon in the 6’8 shooter’s arsenal is his ability to relocate and shoot on the move. Hauser’s movement shooting is second to none, and it’s an incredibly valuable skill that should be getting him more attention this draft cycle. His form is textbook and lightning quick, allowing him to shoot over most defenders and get his release off before most can close out on him — even when he’s mid stride or running off a screen. Imagine a 6’8 shooter who is capable of scoring from anywhere in the deep range area, but now he’s capable of doing it in motion as well. You see why I’m high on Hauser now.
I don’t think it’s a stretch to say Hauser is one of – if not the best – off-ball movers in the draft. He has also shown handling ability, and while you’d never want him to be a primary or even secondary initiator, you can feel comfortable with Hauser knowing that he isn’t exclusively a player who stands in the corner and looks pretty. He’s not a very impressive defender, and I wouldn’t bet very much on him becoming one. That’s fine though — at this range in the draft, being able to come away with an elite shooter with size will satisfy most teams.
His shooting is truly ludicrous, and teams will regret not taking him higher.
You can catch some of Hauser’s highlights here:
Yet another quality shooting prospect, Wieskamp was a major weapon for Iowa over the last few years of their dominant college seasons with Luka Garza.
Wieskamp has a high release shot, and at 6’7, is very hard to guard on the perimeter. He’s excellent off the catch and usually always ready for a pass. While a more inconsistent shooter compared to Hauser, and not as good at movement shooting, Wieskamp is still adept at shooting when coming off screens.
Where Wieskamp is a little better compared to Hauser is when he’s asked to handle or playmake. While not someone you want initiating any offence or executing ISO plays, Wieskamp is still a capable passer and a respectable handler when looking at other players in his position and role.
I wouldn’t expect Wieskamp to be an effective defender at the next level, at least right away. His feet are slow and he tends to get blown by. He’s also not very strong, so he would definitely be more suited to guarding the perimeter or hidden on the defensive end entirely until he’s able to match up with his position.
Wieskamp has worked out for the Raptors, and would fulfill some needs as a bench shooter with good offensive IQ.
NBA Draft SZN is officially here. Raptors say guards Jalen Crutcher, Marcus Zegarowski, Geo Baker and Joe Wieskamp will be in for a workout, along with C Balsa Koprivica and F Scottie Lewis.
— Ryan Wolstat (@WolstatSun) July 6, 2021
Wieskamp viewing, for the cultured:
Livers was a very steadying presence for Michigan, and players like Franz Wagner visibly suffered when Livers went down with injury during March Madness.
Livers is a prospect I like a lot if the Raptors want to grab a 3&D wing, because he’s someone who should be able to contribute immediately. His ceiling is admittedly low, but I would bet that he’s a solid player on both ends of the floor due to his reliably consistent shooting and activity on the defensive end. His form is quick and smooooth. His motor is quite solid and he’s an above average athlete, so he’d always be giving a damn on the defensive end. He’s a capable one-on-one defender and closes out effectively. Though his steal and block numbers are low, he’s still impactful on that end.
I wouldn’t expect Livers to be a handler or playmaker. We’d be drafting for shooting and defensive depth with this selection and he would provide as advertised. There isn’t much more to delve into with Livers, great shooter, high energy defender, you get what you pay for. At this point in the draft, I believe teams would be happy with him.
If Charles Bassey is off the board, the Portuguese big man from Utah State should be the next-up selection if the Raptors want to add some depth at the 5. Queta recently worked out for the Raptors, implying some degree of interest:
Raptors are working out Neemias Queta today. One of the better 2nd round bigs they could target. https://t.co/Ip11DEtpJU
— brendan (@brendanps97) July 13, 2021
Queta is an imposing physical presence with his size and long arms, and uses it effectively with his shot blocking instincts. Built like a brick house, he’s also a hard screen setter and effective roll man capable of slipping inside to finish with either hand. He’s not a shooter yet, but his midrange game combined with respectable free throw numbers could mean that he is capable of developing a deep range jumper down the line.
His 3.3 blocks and 1.1 steals showcase how active Queta can be defensively. Shot blocking is most likely his most translatable skill at this point, and the 2x Mountain West DPOY is no slouch in this regard. He’s rather slow in space, so I wouldn’t expect him to be an effective perimeter defender right away, but he has shown flashes of being able to switch. His interior defence and shot blocking ability is absolutely stellar, however.
Queta is one of the better big man passers in the draft as well, averaging 2.7 dimes as a junior. Due to his post presence and ability to pass, it’s not difficult to envision him in a Marc Gasol-esque role on offence, making secondary passes out of the post. He’s quite a smart player in this regard, and I’d be excited to see him as a bench big for the Raptors.
Please watch Queta. He’s fun, I promise:
Aldama is an intriguing Spanish big who played at Loyola MD. I’m not sure why he isn’t receiving very much attention, because the film and stats speak for themselves. The competition isn’t the greatest in Loyola’s conference, but Aldama has shown fluid shot mechanics from outside the arc. He’s also a solid cutter and knows when to sneak to the rim for lobs and putbacks. There are some issues with his shot, he flicks his wrist and jumps forward awkwardly sometimes, but it’s consistent. He’s already one of the better shooting bigs in the class and at 20 years of age, there’s a lot of optimism that his shot will improve even further. The improvement from three from his first year (21%) to his second year (37%) is especially noteworthy.
Defence is interesting with Aldama. He isn’t very strong or athletic, but he’s smart and mobile. He’d be useful in a switching system, but would need work if he wants to defend stronger post-up bigs at the next level. His footwork and hand-eye coordination is fairly advanced, and he possesses decent enough physical tools, though it’s unlikely that he’ll be a consistent shot blocking presence.
If the Raptors are considering shoring up the big man rotation on draft night, they would be remiss not to at least look in Santi’s direction, whether that be in the second round or as an undrafted free agent.
Some Santi highlights: