Big day at the BioSteel Centre today as the Raptors welcome six more prospects in for a pre-draft workout. The 23rd pick in the 2017 NBA Draft is still sitting out there, and we still need to know which player Toronto and Masai Ujiri will eventually select.
Today’s group of players includes the following names, and builds to an interesting surprise:
Kasey Hill, Guard, 6-1, Florida
Troy Caupain, Guard, 6-4, Cincinnati
Nigel Hayes, Forward, 6-7, Wisconsin
Kyle Kuzma, Forward, 6-8, Utah
Ike Anigbogu, Forward, 6-10, UCLA
Jonathan Jeanne, Forward, 7-1, France
Hey! It’s... it’s Jonathan Jeanne!
As you’ll recall, I literally wrote this yesterday, shortly after Chad Ford of ESPN predicted the Raptors to make a play for Jeanne with the 23rd pick. Jeanne is still a 7-foot tall Frenchman with a long loping stride and a presence around the rim. The masterminds at Draft Express have him ranked at no. 19, going 22nd in the draft, so it is modestly significant that he’s in Toronto today.
(Of course, following the trend of the last couple years, this could also mean that the Raptors are most definitely not going to pick Jeanne, since they have resolutely picked players that were not in public workouts the last three years.)
Not to be outdone by the leaping Frenchman, however, is the leaping Californian known as Ike Anigbogu — or, as our man Mitch Robson calls him, Lonzo’s roll man. The UCLA big man is in Toronto today to work out with Jeanne and the rest, and he’s actually ranked a bit higher. Draft Express has him at number 17 on their top 100 prospects, sitting in 15th in their latest mock draft. Could he be the answer for the Raptors at 23? This seems vaguely unlikely — Ike could be gone by then.
The Raptors also have 73rd ranked Nigel Hayes in town (somehow the lower ranked of two different Nigels in the top 100 prospects list). And then, some other lovely competitors who surely will work very hard.
The NBA Draft, once again, is still on June 22nd. Get ready.