Draftexpress: Adreian Payne
We'll start our look around the various interweb mock drafts with a stop at Draftexpress where Jonathan Givony and crew have the Raptors selecting Michigan State big man Adreian Payne. It's early in the process but I'd be thrilled if this was the draft's outcome. The only problem is that once workouts begin, I wouldn't be shocked to see Payne jump into the late lottery range thanks to his athleticism, size and ability to stretch the floor from his position.
ESPN.com: Elfrid Payton
Via Chad Ford's Mock Draft version 6.0 (ESPN Insider) we have the Raptors grabbing Louisiana Lafayette point guard Elfrid Payton. Payton is one of the more intriguing first-round picks in this draft as while he didn't play under a huge spotlight in college, his physical traits and defensive abilities could make him a steal later in the draft. Like Payne however, I worry he'll be long gone by the time Toronto makes its selection.
SBNation.com: Dario Saric
From a value perspective, if the Raptors were to grab Saric this late, it could very well BE the steal of the draft. Saric has lottery talent but his status regarding availability for NBA play next season may cause him to drop on NBA draft boards.
While I'd be fine with this option talent-wise, it would be nice to get an impact player for next season with that 20th pick.
Yahoo! Sports: Clint Capela
Who? Capela is another interesting foreign option in this draft. He's an athletic 6-11 big man who plays above the rim, and who could be an excellent rim protector and defender at the next level.
Yahoo's description of the pick sums him up:
We'll dig more into Capela in the coming weeks but I'm hoping he's a player the Raptors bring in for workouts.
SportsIllustrated.com: Zach Lavine
While I'm not at present a Lavine fan, I get that he's got some of the highest upside in this draft.
The problem right now is I look at him and see Austin Daye, a guy who does a little bit of everything, but none of it that well.
Finally, my favourite mock of them all so far has been Jonathan Tjarks over at Real GM. While he only addresses those teams picking in the lottery stage of the draft, I tend to agree with his rationale for his selections above most others out there, especially regarding Julius Randle's NBA upside.