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NBA Draft 2017: ESPN predicts the Raptors’ pick at no. 23

And the winner is...?

NBA: Toronto Raptors at Brooklyn Nets Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Look at Raptors president Masai Ujiri’s face up there. That’s a mean mug if I ever saw one. Masai does not want you to even guess at his thought process with respect to the upcoming NBA Draft. He’s going to do what he does and make a pick for Toronto, and you’re just going to have to live with it. Doubt the reasoning? Have a look up there again and believe it.

Of course, that will not stop us from reporting all the guesses anyway. Today’s report comes to us from the most recent mock draft of one, Chad Ford, ESPN insider. Now, Ford’s credibility has already been shot up in the past, but since the draft is something of a crap-shoot anyway, we may as well report on the professional crap-shoot proffered by the likes of the worldwide leader.

So, without further adieu, Ford has the Raptors using their 23rd pick on none other than... Jonathan Jeanne! To wit:

“Jeanne was one of the stars of the combine and the type of player GM Masai Ujiri has been willing to gamble on in the past. His amazing length and mobility at his size are impressive. He just needs to add a lot of strength.”

Those length and size dimensions? Jeanne is listed at 7’2”, with a 7’6” wingspan, but as pointed out, weighs in at 210 pounds. He also averaged a rather meagre 3.7 points and 3.9 rebounds while playing ball in France for SLUC Nancy. According to the wizards at Draft Express, he’s the 19th best prospect this year, predicted to go 22nd to the Nets, and the best international player on his way to the NBA for next season. Not a bad dude to take a flyer on, even if the Raptors already have... [checks paper] ...329 centres currently on the roster.

Raptors fans are also probably seeing visions of Alexis Ajinca (or Loren Woods?) right now, but let’s not be too hasty. Remember the face of Ujiri up top? He does not need nor care for your judgement. And Masai has more footage to work with than a mere 4.5 minute clip:

This has been your official NBA Draft update. The event will all go down on June 22nd. What do you guys think of Jeanne at number 23?