The Raptors, who finished a middling 41-41 this past season, had the 13th-worst odds heading into the lottery, and just a 1% chance at landing the top pick. In other words, things broke exactly as expected!
So, now we move into actual draft prep. Here are some potential players the Raptors might take at #13, according to a few key mock drafts:
ESPN: Keynote George
NBADraft.net: Cason Wallace
The Ringer: Keyonte George
DraftKings DraftNation: Jett Howard
The consensus seems to be that the Raptors will look at a backcourt player with a good shooting touch. Seems logical enough, since the Raptors couldn’t score last year, and since Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. — the two top guards on the roster — can both be free agents this summer and may walk.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Pistons became the first surprise of the night, as they dropped out of the top four, and ended up in fifth. That meant that the Portland Trailblazers, who had the fifth-best odds, had moved up — and indeed, they ended up in third, with the Houston Rockets picking fourth.
The Charlotte Hornets wound up in second place, and the San Antonio Spurs — the best choice, if it couldn’t be the Raptors, in this writer’s opinion — won the top pick, and the opportunity to draft Victor Wembanyama.
Bobby Webster represented the Raptors at the lottery itself. Teresa Resch was present in the backroom for the drawing of the ping pong balls.
As for what’s next, Raptors management is surely reviewing all their scouting reports, tons of game film, NBA Draft combine results, and scheduling workouts with prospects. It’s a little strange to be doing workouts without a coach, but, that’s the situation the Raptors have put themselves in. Now that the team knows where it’s picking, the workouts will start up, and we’ll start to get an idea of who the Raptors are looking at.