Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Toronto Raptors Post-Lottery 2023 NBA Mock Draft Roundup

Leading up to the 2023 NBA Draft, we will update our Toronto Raptors Mock Draft Roundup showing picks for the Toronto Raptors from several prominent sites and draft analysts.

The following are picks in recent mock drafts for the Raptors:

The Rookie Wire — Cody Taylor (5/19)

13. Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

Smith, who was once viewed as a potential top-five pick, has slipped some after an inconsistent freshman year with the Razorbacks. Of course, he missed time due to injury, and that largely prevented him from having a strong year. However, teams in this range should absolutely take a look at him here.

With some uncertainty regarding their backcourt, the Raptors figure to be a good fit for Smith. He has elite athleticism and is highly touted for his ability as a scorer and passer, traits the Raptors could certainly use. It seems a bit odd to think Smith, a former No. 3 recruit, could be a steal at this stage of the draft, but that looks to be the case here.

CBS Sports — Gary Parrish (5/17)

13. Jordan Hawkins, Connecticut

The Raptors ranked 28th in the NBA in 3-point percentage, which is among the reasons Hawkins is a sensible option. He made more than 38% of his 3-point attempts this season while helping UConn win the national championship.

Sporting News — Kyle Irving (5/17)

13. Jalen Hood-Schifino, Indiana

With Fred VanVleet facing a player option for the 2023-24 season, the Raptors need some guard insurance. Even if VanVleet picks up that player option, Toronto could still use another lead guard.

Hood-Schifino has skyrocketed up Mock Draft boards after a promising freshman season at Indiana. The 6-foot-6 playmaker is a pick-and-roll maestro, already proving his ability to operate one of the NBA's most-used actions at a high level. He's slithery off the bounce with a great change of pace and he has a confident midrange jumper and floater.

The 19-year-old was extremely inconsistent this year but there are few guard prospects in this class who I am more confident in their potential to be successful in the NBA. He'd be a perfect fit on a team like the Raptors, who have a rich recent history of player development.

The Athletic — Sam Vecenie (5/16)

13. Cason Wallace, Kentucky

The Scout: Wallace is one of those dudes you just trust to be a hooper. He gets how to play and impact winning basketball. He's an elite defensive guard with incredible hands and disruptive hand-eye coordination. He's extremely strong and can slide up the lineup because of how capable he is at getting his chest in front of players and cutting off their momentum. Offensively, you'd like to see more with how Wallace can create off the bounce. But he's good enough in ball screens and is strong as a catch-and-shoot weapon. He suffered a few injuries this past season, so teams want to learn a bit more about those, but Wallace is a very trustworthy player.

The Fit: The Raptors have a lot of questions forthcoming in the backcourt. Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. can become free agents, and there is precious little depth behind them. The team needs to find more answers there, even if they envision Scottie Barnes as a potential primary creator long term. Wallace can play a bit on and off the ball, and I think he's the rare one-and-done who figures to play early because of how impactful he is as a defender. He would give the Raptors some further flexibility in terms of their offseason decision-making.

Yahoo! Sports — Krysten Peek (5/16)

13. Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

Despite a rocky year that was plagued with a knee injury, Smith Jr. returned to the court and NBA scouts saw flashes that were positive and encouraging in his shot-making capability and touch around the rim. There are numerous skilled guards projected at the top and it will all depend on small preferences that differentiate the handful of primary ball-handlers in the lottery.

Bleacher Report — Jonathan Wasserman (5/16)

13. Nick Smith Jr., Arkansas

An inefficient season mixed with injury could cause Smith to fall outside the top 10, where he was initially projected thanks to his 6'5" size, shot-making versatility and playmaking flashes. At No. 13, the Raptors would see too enticing of a buy-low opportunity on a potentially dangerous three-level scorer.

SB Nation — Ricky O'Donnell (5/16)

13. Dariq Whitehead, Duke

Whitehead had a reputation as a big guard who could put pressure on the rim with tremendous speed and leaping ability when he entered his freshman year at Duke. Then he fractured his right foot, missed the start of the season, and had to reimagine his game on a Blue Devils team that already had a stud shot creator in Jeremy Roach. Instead, Whitehead became something of a designated shooter — considered a weakness in his game entering college — by hitting 42.4 percent of his three-pointers on 99 attempts. Add in solid defense with the potential to switch across two or three positions, and there's a lot to like about Whitehead if he can regain the burst as a driver he showed earlier in his career.

CBS Sports — Kyle Boone (5/16)

13. Keyonte George, Baylor

Toronto's built a versatile roster full of players who can thrive being used in multiple ways. George projects mostly as a chucker who can create his own offense, but there's some playmaking to his game that reminds of Bradley Beal.

For the Win — Bryan Kalbrosky (5/16)

13. Keyonte George, Baylor

Baylor's Keyonte George will walk into the league as one of the best rebounders at his position. He grabbed 88.7 percent of his adjusted rebound chances, via AI-Powered statistics provided by Stats Perform, which is the best mark among all projected first-rounders regardless of position.

The Big 12 Rookie of the Year also averaged 0.67 points per touch on his drives, per Stats Perform, which ranked near the best among prospects with at least 100 drives tracked.

Per 100 possessions, per CBB Analytics, he was also one of the leaders in unassisted 3-pointers made (1.8) last season.

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