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Who Ya Got? The Raptors HQ 2015 Draft Wishlist Roundtable

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With the draft just a day away, the HQ staffers present their top preferences for the Raptors' 20th overall pick.

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Draft coverage has been coming in strong over the past couple of weeks here at Raptors HQ. The Raptors taking Bruno Caboclo with the 20th overall pick last year hasn't deterred people from doing their deep research on this year's draft crop. Based on Masai Ujiri's comments yesterday (grain of salt alert), it sounds as if this year's pick won't come out of left field. Daniel Hackett was kind enough to write a series of Fan Posts previewing the list of prospects (PGsSGsSFs) potentially available at the Raptors' draft slot.

Here's the carefully curated list of prospects that should be available at no. 20:

Devin Booker, 15, SG
Jerian Grant, 16, PG
Bobby Portis, 16, PF
Kevon Looney, 18, PF
Cameron Payne, 20, PG
Tyus Jones, 20, PG
Montrezl Harrell, 21, PF
Christian Wood, 22, PF
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, 23, SF
R.J. Hunter, 23, SG
Delon Wright, 26, PG
Justin Anderson, 26, SF
Terry Rozier, 28, PG
Robert Upshaw, 28, C
Cliff Alexander, 29, PF/C
Jarell Martin, 29, SF/PF
Norman Powell, 30, SG
Rashad Vaughn, 30, SG
Chris McCullough, 30, PF
Dakari Johnson, 31, C
Michael Qualls, 31, SG

Naturally, the Raptors aren't talented enough to worry about "fit." But given the holes on the roster, there are a number of directions Masai and the front office could go. I asked some of the HQ staff to give me their thoughts on how the Raptors should approach this draft.

1) What position do you think the Raptors should look to address with the 20th pick?

Joshua Santos: If the 2014-15 playoffs showed anything, it's that the Raptors need to add more perimeter defense and front court help but with a lonesome 20th pick, the Raps won't be able to address all those issues. Though the Raps front court was torn down tremendously against the Wiz, the team's backcourt was exposed defensively. Masai should prioritize adding a perimeter defender who can add immediate impact and can be a pass-first facilitator however if he's unable to find a guard/wing he likes, he should get a strong, athletic big to the front court rotation.

Sean Woodley: The Raptors have a lot of holes, but none bigger than the one Amir Johnson is about to leave at the power forward spot. With such shaky perimeter defenders on the roster (another position they could look to fill in the draft, by the way), it's imperative to have excellent help defense on the interior. Jonas Valanciunas might build on the flashes he showed this year and become a solid rim protector, but even if he does, the Raptors are lacking guys who can clean up inside. Power forward is the place to address if the right guy is available.

John Gaudes: Late in the first round is when the guesswork tends to begin with NBA management - getting the best player available isn't always clear cut. This year, though, there could be some cross-over between the best player on the board and positions the Raptors need to fill. Given that Amir Johnson and Tyler Hansbrough could be on their way out and guys like Kevon Looney and Montrezl Harrell have been projected to be there at 20, I'd like to see them get some depth at the forward spot.

Daniel Reynolds: I know this is going to sound reductive, but the Raptors really should just go for the most talented player available. There are a bunch of multi-tool wing/forward players--their position of greatest need--who should be available around the 20th pick, just grab the presumptive best one and be happy. Over-thinking it usually leads to disaster. (Cue the Ross-over-Drummond chorus, to name just one such situation.)

Mitch Robson: On Thursday night I believe there are two positions Masai Ujiri and the Raptors should be looking to address, and those are filling the holes at the 4 and the 2. With Amir Johnson possibly leaving, and even if he does stay, playing on his last legs, looking for a Power Forward who can slot into the rotation right away and develop into a starter should be the priority. Also, I'm out on Terrence Ross, so looking for another athletic wing who can develop into the "3 and D" type guard all teams covet these days is the other road the Raptors could go down.

Harsh Dave: Is "all of them" a cop out? I don't think the Raptors are absolutely settled anywhere, to be honest. The point guards are fine, but a backup could still help if Lou Williams walks. At the Wing, Dwane Casey doesn't like James Johnson and nobody likes Terrence Ross, so that's a problem. In the front court, Amir Johnson's a shell of his former self, and might not be back next year, so that needs to be addressed as well. The offence sputtered in the playoffs and the defence was leaky all season. In conclusion, anyone good would be nice. I have insightful opinions. The Raptors, everybody!

2) Rank the top 5 prospects in the list above in terms of fit for the Raptors


Joshua Santos Sean Woodley John Gaudes Daniel Reynolds Mitch Robson Harsh Dave
Jerian Grant Bobby Portis Kevon Looney Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Montrezl Harrell Montrezl Harrell
Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Montrezl Harrell Montrezl Harrell Bobby Portis Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Rondae Hollis-Jefferson
Bobby Portis Justin Anderson Devin Booker Montrezl Harrell Bobby Portis Christian Wood
Kevon Looney Chris McCullough Delon Wright Kevon Looney Jerian Grant Bobby Portis
Tyus Jones Rondae Hollis-Jefferson Tyus Jones Justin Anderson Cliff Alexander Kevon Looney

So on the Raptors HQ wish-lists, Bobby Portis, RHJ and Montrezl Harrell appear five out of six times. We also have some interested sprinkled in for Kevon Looney, Jerian Grant, and Justin Anderson. Overall, it looks as if even within the somewhat limited field of players available, the Raptors should be looking at finding the best player available. The Raptors' defensive struggles also seem to be etched into our brains subconsciously, as many of the players we've chosen have a strong defensive pedigree or have flashed promising defensive potential.

What do you all think?