In the months leading up to the NBA Draft Lottery, the Toronto Raptors scouting department broke down tape for players projected to go in the middle of the 2021 NBA Draft. They traveled down to Australia to see Josh Giddey, a projected mid-lottery pick, and endured a 14-day quarantine just to see the supersized point guard. Recently, they’ve worked out Scottie Barnes, Keon Johnson, and Jonathan Kuminga, and it turns out they may have found something that piques their interest.
According to The Athletic’s draft guru Sam Vecenie, the Raptors are believed to be willing to trade down in the draft if an enticing offer comes their way. The organization is also reportedly considering Barnes, the Florida State do-it-all defender, with the fourth pick.
For Toronto to move down and still draft Barnes, the Raptors would likely have to move back a pick or two, either to No. 5 in a swap with the Orlando Magic or to No. 6 with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Both teams have multiple first-round picks to entice Toronto.
Alternatively, the Raptors could be eyeing someone like Giddey, Johnson, or a handful of other mid to late first-round picks. Toronto might be able to swing a deal with the Thunder for No. 6 and 16, allowing the Raptors to come away with two high-end prospects this year. If not the Thunder, Golden State seems like another logical trade partner considering the Warriors own No. 7 and 14 and are trying to build around Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green for the immediate future.