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Raptors Draft Diary: Front Office Doing the Bare Minimum

Much like the trade deadline, the Raptors entered the draft night with the ability to set off fireworks. However, they stayed pat for the most part and just did the bare minimum. Hey, at least we got Gradey Dick!

NBA: NBA Draft Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the RaptorsHQ Draft Diary. Is this the first time we’re doing it? I hope we get to do this infrequently because that means the team could be bad. I was also at the wheel on RaptorsHQ’s Twitter account last night to go back at my overreactions on every Raptors-related news and rumours.

Draft Night didn’t feel like any other draft night for the Raptors fanbase, as rumours were swirling around Pascal Siakam, OG Anunoby, and Gary Trent Jr. Unfortunately, there were no fireworks last night, as the Raptors stayed put and just did the bare minimum, which is to utilize their pick.

Pouring Cold Water

Ok, with the draft starting in less than two hours, the smokescreens and information warfare are getting intense. Siakam’s been a hot target for a few teams, and I’m curious whether it was Siakam’s camp or the Portland Trail Blazers’ side that leaked this. After all, Chris Haynes is Dame Lillard’s mouthpiece. Let’s see what happens later tonight.

Sportsnet’s Michael Grange chiming in. Interesting.


Is Kobe Bufkin our guy at the 13th spot? Too many experts over the last 48 hours are now saying that he’s our guy.

Get Wemby Pick Out of the Way

What a surprise! Now, will the Charlotte Hornets muck things up? OK, Shams started his thing and tweeted that the Hornets will go for Brandon Miller. With the Blazers on the clock unofficially, I’m starting to get nervous!

The Blazers go with Scoot Henderson, with no rumblings of trade whatsoever from the usual news breakers. Perhaps the night is just too early?

The Raptors are building a 6’9” army, but the Orlando Magic may be onto something: They’re building a PG army. Give us Jalen Suggs!


First trade of the night! Jake Fischer says it’s flip for the eighth pick and future 2nds. That’s it? Well, at least we have one long-term project that would entice Masai and Bobby. Coulibaly off the board gives me a bit of hope that the Raptors won’t pick a Vision 6’9” project that can’t shoot. Meanwhile, Cam Whitmore appears to be sliding.

*** Another Trade Alert ***

This development feels like a lost opportunity for the Raptors to obtain another pick. Also, Cason Wallace is #2 on my pick, and I wouldn’t mind the Raptors picking him. Is Bufkin on his way to Toronto? Cam and Gradey still on the board too!

*** Biggest Jump of the Draft So Far ***

Oh wow, I bet nobody saw the Orlando Magic reaching for Jett Howard. Potential BPA for the Raptors at 13th: Cam Whitmore, Gradey Dick, Kobe Bufkin. I read earlier that Cam is sliding due to issues with his medical records and poor workouts. If the Raptors did not get a look at him, he’s not the BPA. Kobe’s my guy, but hey, Gradey’s there, and he’s a tier above from my list!


WHOAA!!! First, I did not expect Gradey to go past Orlando. Who predicted this? Gradey falling to the Raptors is a welcome development, perhaps something the Raptors’ front office was banking on. Apparently, he had a second workout with the Raptors, along with Bufkin. Looks like Gradey is their BPA (did they anticipate Whitmore falling?) after all.

On a side note, Bufkin went 15th to Atlanta Hawks, Keyonte George 16th to Utah Jazz, and the Lakers selected Jalen Hood-Schifino 17th. Coincidence?

Meanwhile, I found this tweet:


Canadian kid Olivier-Maxence Prosper got selected by the Kings but en route to Dallas. The Celtics and the Pistons are on to something as well. Someone check if Masai’s fallen asleep!

Is this it, Masai/Bobby?

Portland Non-Trade Update

It sounds like the Blazers front office are frustrating to deal with At this point, I’m expecting Raptors GM Bobby Webster to use Masai Ujiri’s line during the trade deadline: “The opportunity was not there for us for a blockbuster trade.”

Should They?

The Raptors don’t have a 2nd round pick, and the going price for an early 2nd round costs around two second-rounders. There are still quality prospects early in the second round, like Leonard Miller, Colby Jones, Max Lewis, Emoni Bates, and Terquavion Smith, to name a few. Personally, Miller or Lewis would be nice.

Bargain Bin Route

OK, we’re in the Two-Way Contract range (mid-2nd round), and they probably cost a future second-round pick. I’m typing this as the Spurs picked up Sidy Cissoko. I still have Terquavion Smith, GG Jackson and Emoni Bates from the previous list. If the Raptors don’t trade in by the 50th pick, this is not happening anymore. They are probably working on the undrafted free agents for exhibit 10s and Two-Way contract offers.

Update: The Raptors picked up Kansas State’s PG Markquis Nowell on a two-way contract. Future Raptors 905 PG?