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NBA Draft 2017: Potential Options for the Raptors at No. 23

In one of the deepest drafts of the last decade, Toronto could secure a rotation piece in the 23rd slot.

Kansas State v Wake Forest Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

As HQ’s biggest college hoops fanalyst/junkie, it’s never too early to start thinking about who the Raptors will select in the upcoming draft, as they are now locked into the 23rd spot in the 1st round after yesterday’s NBA tie-breaking procedure.

After scouring some post NCAA tournament mock drafts around the web, here’s some of the players are currently in the #23 slot and could be walking across the stage to shake Adam Silver’s hand in a Raptors hat come June 22nd.

DraftExpress - PF T.J. Leaf, UCLA

Leaf was UCLA’s leading scorer, averaging 16 and 8 while being Lonzo Ball’s primary assist option in the Bruins fast paced offensive attack. He’s also a solid passer and screener, but leaves a little to be desired on the defensive end. He’s currently listed at 6’10” with a wingspan of just 6’11”, and struggled to make an impact when he was matched up against quality opposition and more physically imposing 4’s (ex. Bam Adebayo).

NBADraft.net & SB Nation - SG Rodions Kurucs, Barcelona 2

To be completely honest, I’d never even heard of this kid until looking through some of the draft coverage around the web. He’s a 6’8” shooting guard from Latvia who is being considered a pure draft and stash option. With the excess of prospects already on the back-end of the roster it might be the most economical decision for Masai Ujiri.

CBS Sports - PF Tyler Lydon, Syracuse

Lydon will enter the draft as a 21 year old college sophomore, who was the best player on an incredibly inconsistent Syracuse team that missed out on the tournament. He averaged 13.2 points and 8.6 rebounds, but his most translatable skill will be three point shooting — he shot 40% over two years as a member of the Orange. As a stretch four listed at 6’9” and 225 pounds, he profiles very similarly to Patrick Patterson, and could be groomed to be his replacement should the Raps not be able to afford to bring 2Pat back next season.

Sports Illustrated - SG Edmond Sumner, Xavier

Sumner was averaging 15 points and 5 assists per game for the Musketeers before suffering a season ending knee injury in late January. Sadly, he missed out on the party as Xavier made its Cinderella run to the Elite 8. He was the primary point guard and with size at 6’6” could make for an intriguing selection and become a steal should he be able to regain his shiftiness and quickness off the bounce coming back from rehab.

Bleacher Report - PF John Collins, Wake Forest

Collins absolutely broke out this season in his sophomore year as a Demon Deacon, averaging 19.2 points per game 9.8 rebounds per game, up from just 7.3 points and 3.9 rebounds in his freshman year. From watching a ton of ACC basketball, Collins was almost always the best player on the floor, even against the likes of blue bloods like Duke, North Carolina and Louisville. While he doesn’t have the perimeter game that the modern NBA big needs, it can be developed under professional coaching, as he already possesses a very polished array of post moves and is a monster on both the offensive and defensive glass. Personally I think he has late lottery talent, but if he’s available at 23 the Raptors would be getting the most bang for their buck in selecting Collins.