Bulls loss puts Raptors in perfect spot to move up in draft

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Now that the Toronto Raptors are officially eliminated from the postseason, attention has turned to the Raptors lottery odds, as they ended up in the lottery for the first time in years following such a cursed season. 

The Raptors might be on the verge of a serious facelift given the impending departure of Kyle Lowry, but they could replace him with a potential star that gives Toronto some stability in an age full of uncertainty.

Following their loss to the Chicago Bulls, the Raptors officially locked in the seventh-best odds at getting the top pick in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Raptors have a 31.9% chance of getting a pick in the top four and a 7.5% chance at getting the No. 1 pick in this draft.

In the last three seasons, all three teams that have had the seventh-best lottery odds have moved up into the top four picks. Those same Bulls nabbed Patrick Williams last year, the Sacramento Kings snagged Marvin Bagley III in 2018, and the New Orleans Pelicans struck oil when they were handed the No. 1 overall pick, which became Zion Williamson, in 2019.

The Toronto Raptors could get a higher pick this year.

Getting a high pick is more important in this draft than ever. The depth in this draft is absolutely exceptional, as players like Franz Wagner and Keon Johnson in the middle of the lottery look like studs, but the five-headed hydra of Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, and Jonathan Kuminga is generally regarded as the cream of the crop.

Since 2007, the first post-Andrea Bargnani draft, the Raptors have only picked at No. 7 or above one time. Luckily, they made good use of it, picking Lithuanian center and double-double machine Jonas Valanciunas, who was a solid center for years before becoming trade fodder in the Marc Gasol swap.

Fair warning to all Raptors fans out there. Due to the way the lottery magic works, the Raptors are unable to get either the No. 5 or No. 6 pick in the draft if they miss out on the top four. The most common position Toronto could end up in is No. 8, which has a 34% chance of happening. There is a 12.88% chance they get the No. 9 pick.

The Raptors landing one of the Big 5 could be a way to instantly turn the franchise around and set the franchise up for years to come. However, despite what opinions might be circulating, it isn’t all doom and gloom if they suddenly