This Toronto Raptors draft may be more important than any class in close to a decade, as the front office has a chance to potentially land the next cornerstone of their franchise with their first-round selection. The pick currently has the seventh-best odds of becoming the top selection, which will likely become Oklahoma State’s Cade Cunningham.
While the Oklahoma State product has everything that you need in a potential franchise player, the Raptors face long odds at landing Cunningham. If they miss out on him, they could turn around and select one of his contemporary rivals later in the draft.
The Big 12 conference, which has developed a bit of a bad reputation over the years considering how Kansas has dominated the regular season, saw Baylor win the national championship this season with Texas Tech coming in as the runners-up in 2019.
With the conference starting to show how deep it is, the NBA as a whole, but specifically the Raptors, would be wise to take advantage of this. These 4 prospects could end up with Toronto in the first or second round.
4 Toronto Raptors draft targets in the Big 12
Terrence Shannon Jr
SG Texas Tech
If you’re looking for athletic ability, look no further than Shannon, a much-hyped recruit who succeeded Jarrett Culver as one of the premier offensive options in Lubbock. Shannon could go in the late first round or the very end of the lottery, and it all depends on how you view him as a shooter.
Alternating between starting and coming off of the bench, Shannon made just 32% of his 3-point attempts over the last two years with the Red Raiders, as he was much more adept at attacking the basket and using his speed to get easy looks near the rim. In the second round, Toronto could take a gamble on Shannon.
Terrence Shannon Jr. has could be a steal for the Toronto Raptors.
He’s got perimeter defense and passing down at an above-average level, but he won’t truly take off at the NBA level until he starts to improve his range. Luckily, Nurse is a bit of a shot doctor, and he could give Shannon the knowledge and G League reps needed to work on that shot. He should develop nicely in that system.
However, if Shannon never becomes a tremendous shooter, Nurse’s history with DeAndre Bembry suggests that he can at least find a role for Shannon to get some buckets without rising up from deep. Defense and Shannon’s level of athleticism are rarely available together in the second round, meaning that the Raptors shouldn’t hesitate.