The Toronto Raptors are hoping June 22 is a long night of waiting around.
This year's NBA draft class is expected to be franchise-altering. It's headlined by Oklahoma State superstar Cade Cunningham and boasts a top-five that's supposed to be as good as any in recent history. It's why June 22, NBA Draft Lottery night, is going to be so nerve-wracking for the Raptors who hold the seventh-best lottery odds and a 31.9% of earning a top-four pick in this year's draft.
The ideal situation, of course, is moving up to No. 1. Toronto has a 7.5% chance to land the top pick and the right to draft Cunningham. But moving up anywhere in the top four could totally change Toronto's future outlook. It would give the Raptors the opportunity to select one of Evan Mobley, Jalen Suggs, Jalen Green, or Jonathan Kuminga, the presumed top five in the class.
"If you look at the top five names, they all have star potential. Whether it's a size and athleticism combination or size and skill or a skill and IQ combination, they all have star potential in some way," said Wesley Brown, an independent basketball scout. "It's pretty fathomable that all of them can reach it because they all have great physical or physical and mental tools."
The most likely scenario, however, is the Raptors don't end up waiting around to hear their names called out in the top four. While they can't land the fifth or sixth pick, they have a 19.8% chance at selecting seventh overall, a 33.9% chance at drafting eighth, a 13% chance of drafting ninth, and a 1.4% chance of drafting 10th. This would certainly be disappointing, but it wouldn't be a disaster, Brown said.
"I can almost guarantee you that those will not be the top five players in this draft in 10 years," Brown said. "For me, Josh Giddey should be in that conversation and maybe Keon Johnson too. If you're going to look at the top guys, I would include them as well."
"If the Raptors end up at seven they should get someone really good."
Toronto has already shown strong interest in Giddey, the 6-foot-8 Australian do-it-all point guard. The organization sent a pair of scouts down to Australia to watch Giddey play and had to endure the country's two-week quarantine for all international travelers.
"Giddey has star potential written all over him," Brown said. "Excellent size, really good passer and facilitator. It's clear guys love playing with him. He's a natural. His dad was a player. He's grown up around basketball his whole life."
The question marks start to pop up if the Raptors slips in the draft. There's a 48.3% chance they move down and end up with one of the more developmental prospects that are projected to go eight through 10.
It'll certainly be a long night of anticipation, but as long as Toronto gets a top-seven pick, Raptors fans should be pretty excited about where the organization is heading.