The Toronto Raptors draft plans will likely include drafting at least one big man with one of their three selections, as the addition of Khem Birch didn’t do enough to erase the fact that Toronto was one of the worst teams in the league when it came to rebounding the basketball consistently.
While the Raptors will have their pick of any number of tremendous big men with their very desirable first-round pick, don’t be surprised if Masai Ujiri or whoever is in charge waits until the second round in order to finally find add some muscle down on the low block.
There is one big stud at the top in USC’s Evan Mobley, but the Raptors shouldn’t go delirious if they end up missing out on him. There are plenty of quality depth pieces available in the later first round, where the Raptors could trade up into, or the middle of the second round.
While these four rebounders come in different shapes and sizes and have varying degrees of refinement on the offensive side of the ball, they can help solidify the interior the very second they touch down in Toronto.
Toronto Raptors draft: 4 rebounders that could make an impact.
4. Neemias Queta, Utah State
A three-year starter with the Aggies that has solidified himself as the best big man in the Mountain West Conference, Queta has flown under the radar of everyone except the staunchest of college basketball or draft-obsessed fans. However, looking at his numbers, it boggles the mind to think that he might slip out of the first round.
Queta averaged a double-double in what ended up being his final season with Utah State, as his per game averages of 14.9 points, 10.1 rebounds, and 3.3 blocks per game show off the raw talent that could eventually make him a very desirable rotation big man at the next level.
Neemias Queta could be a double-double machine for the Raptors.
The Portuguese star is starting to slip because his face-up game is lacking, meaning that he will likely only see NBA minutes as some added muscle down low early in his career. Luckily for Toronto, that is exactly the type of player that they need, and Queta could fall into a rotation role with the Raptors.
Freddie Gillespie was a huge hit last year because of his willingness to scratch down in the paint, and Queta offers that same motor and mentality with a bigger frame, better shot-blocking ability, and slightly improved rebounding capabilities. With or without Birch, Queta is an ideal backup center.