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2023 NBA Draft Lottery

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RaptorsHQ’s Toronto Raptors 2023 Draft Day Primer

Mock drafts, workout list, draft insights, and more! It’s your unofficial Toronto Raptors cheat sheet for tonight’s draft.

Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

We’re hours away from the 2023 NBA Draft, and it’s time to review all the information relevant to Toronto’s draft activity tonight. The Raptors (for now) are expected to pick 13th, but there might be some fireworks tonight. Let’s jump right in!

Who should the Raptors pick 13th overall?

Raptors Assistant GM Dan Tolzman had a presser the other day to talk about the draft and a few things worth noting: He was happy to volunteer that they are comfortable with a lot of players in this draft and that they like their spot right now.

If the Raptors decide to stay at 13th, there are at least five options here, and we managed to cover them (the links take you to the prospect spotlight article):

Other names of interest: Jalen Hood-Schifino (16th), Nick Smith Jr. (17th), Jett Howard (20th)

Consensus rankings were based on the tweet below. Shout out to Nathaniel Miller for doing the hard work of compiling all of the available mock drafts:

My personal mini-board at the 13th spot:

  1. Kobe Bufkin
  2. Cason Wallace (realllly close behind Bufkin)
  3. Keyonte George
  4. Jordan Hawkins
  5. Bilal Coulibaly
  6. Jalen Hood-Schfino

I am fine with the Raptors drafting either Bufkin, Wallace, George or even Hawkins. If Coulibaly is the guy, there has to be another pick somewhere in the first round, as he won’t be able to contribute as much from day 1. A fun thought experiment could happen should Gradey Dick or Anthony Black falls into our range. Very unlikely, but it’s the draft; anything can happen. Maybe Gradey’s a strong consideration, and I might pass up on Black if any of my top 2 are still available.

SB Nation NBA did a SB Nation writers mock draft earlier this week. I represented the RaptorsHQ and the Toronto Raptors and selected Kobe Bufkin. Read more about my thought process here.

Mock Draft Updates

Kobe Bufkin remains a popular mock pick for Toronto, but what’s surprising is Jalen Hood-Schifino being mocked by several outlets to be a Raptor. He was not on the “known” workout list, but maybe he did but kept it secret. Keyonte George has strong numbers too, and I don’t know why Gary Parrish had Jett Howard. Maybe he knows something that we don’t.

Mock Draft Selections

ESPN Kobe Bufkin
Tankathon Cason Wallace
No Ceilings Keyonte George
Bleacher Report Kobe Bufkin
NBADraft.Net Keyonte George
The Athletic Jalen Hood-Schifino
NBA Draft Room Jalen Hood-Schifino
The Ringer Keyonte George
Box and One Kobe Bufkin
Rookie Wire Jalen Hood-Schifino
SB Nation Writers Kobe Bufkin
SB Nation NBA Jalen Hood-Schifino
CBS Colin Cason Wallace
CBS Kyle Kobe Bufkin
CBS Gary Jett Howard
Here’s the most recent 13th picks by various mock draft outlets


The Raptors no longer announce their official workout list for competitive advantage (see Dan Tolzman’s video above), so take this with a grain of salt. Most of this list came from the Rookie Wire’s Draft Workout Tracker, while the rest are scraped from Twitter.

Unofficial Raptors Draft Workout List 2023

Charles Bediako Alabama 21 BIG 6'10" 7'3.25" UNDRAFTED
Gradey Dick Kansas 19 WING 6'6.25" 6'8.75" 11
Jordan Hawkins UConn 21 GUARD 6'4.25" 6'6.75" 18
Kamaka Hepa* Hawaii 23 BIG 6'9" 7' UNDRAFTED
Jett Howard* Michigan 19 WING 6'8" 20
Maxwell Lewis Pepperdine 20 WING 6'6.25" 7' 25
Leonard Miller NBA GL Ignite 19 BIG 6'9.25" 7'2" 19
Isaiah Miranda* NC State BIG 7' WITHDRAWN
Markquis Nowell Kansas State 23 PG 5'6.75" 6'0.5" UNDRAFTED
Brandin Podziemski Santa Clara 20 GUARD 6'3.75" 6'5.5" 24
Malachi Smith* Gonzaga 23 PG 6'4" UNDRAFTED
Nick Smith Jr.* Arkansas 19 GUARD 6'5" 6'9" 17
Cason Wallace Kentucky 19 GUARD 6'2.5" 6'8.5" 10
DeAndre Williams* Memphis 26 BIG 6'9" UNDRAFTED
Kobe Bufkin Michigan 19 GUARD 6'4.25" 6'7.75" 12
Unofficial Raptors Draft Workout List Source: Rookie Wire and twitter/nba_ced/Samson Folk (Raptors Republic)

The most interesting part is that Gradey and Bufkin apparently worked out twice for the Raptors. On his most recent mock draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony’s intimated that Bufkin might have a promise, and it might be Toronto. Overall, the list is the who’s who of the prospects within the Raptors’ range, including local kid Leonard Miller.

Two-Way Contract Targets

The two-way contract players range from the mid-to-late second-round prospects, and the official selections often don’t reflect their rank, as some prospects are willing to bet on themselves and refuse to get drafted and be limited with options. Some of the names worth keeping an eye on:

  • Emoni Bates
  • Terquavion Smith
  • Isaiah Wong
  • Drew Peterson
  • Marcus Carr
  • Seth Lundy
  • Mouhamed Gueye

What should the Raptors do on draft night?

The Raptors should operate with asset accumulation in mind. With ten players under standard contract and the future of Fred VanVleet and Jakob Poeltl up in the air, the Raptors’ front office’s draft night should end with more rotation players coming in than coming out.

Of course, there’s a chance that one of OG Anunoby or Pascal Siakam may get traded — but Raptors president Masai Ujiri and GM Bobby Webster will not be bullied into surrendering their best assets for a neutral deal or less, despite the character assassination being put out by rival teams via media. The Raptors aren’t the Washington Wizards. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Hawks appear to be a serious Siakam suitor.

One way or another, the Raptors should try to get another pick. They can try to flip the 13th pick to teams with multiple picks in the 1st round, like the Utah Jazz’s 16th and 29th picks. They should look to flip any of Chris Boucher, Precious Achiuwa, Thaddeus Young, Gary Trent Jr., and Otto Porter for a late 1st or early 2nd round pick. Heck, if an opposing team is willing to surrender a 1st rounder to take on future salary, the Raptors should jump at the opportunity. Trent Jr. opting in probably opened up the Lakers/Klutch pathway for him.

There are several rumours floating around of them talking to almost everybody, from the Hornets, Blazers, and Houston at the top, and even recently, with the Dallas Mavericks’ 10th pick.

In Masai We Trust

Yesterday, I polled a couple of volatile social media avenues to get a good feel for the Raptors’ front office trust rating heading into draft night. It turns out that there’s still plenty of trust among the respondents, with 57.4% pretty much saying “In Masai We Trust,” while 29% are skeptical that this front office will do the right thing and would rather wait and see. 13.6% of the respondents anticipate that Masai will drop the ball and disappoint tonight.

Dame Time is dead. Are the Raptors on the clock to make another move?

Dame Time Update Thread: Where in the World is Damian Lillard going?

A Damian Lillard deal is nothing to be afraid of.