Insider Shares Latest on Raptors Draft Hopes

The Toronto Raptors are reportedly looking to trade up to land a prospect they coveted in the top six of this year's NBA draft
Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 23, 2022; Brooklyn, NY, USA; NBA commissioner Adam Silver speaks before the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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The Toronto Raptors apparently had their eyes on someone at or near the top of this year's NBA draft.

"I'm told by a guy that if they had stayed in the lottery, kept that top-six pick, they had a guy they wanted, that they really really liked and thought they'd be able to get," Doug Smith told The Bob McCowan Podcast.

Toronto had a 45.8% chance to keep its top-six protected first-round pick this year but the draft lottery didn't go the organization's way. The Raptors fell to No. 8 in the draft lottery and were forced to convey the pick to the San Antonio Spurs as compensation for the Jakob Poeltl deal in 2023.

The Raptors have reportedly been looking to move up in the draft, according to Smith. Toronto currently holds the No. 19 and No. 31 picks in the draft and would like to get into the top 10.

"I think if they can find a way to trade to get that guy they would do it, but I think that's a lot — it's really really hard," Smith said.

It's unclear who Toronto was targeting at the top of the draft. International prospects Zaccharie Risacher and Alex Sarr are both expected to be among the top two or three players off the board later this month. UConn's Donovan Clingan and Stephon Castle, Matas Buzelis of the G League Ignite, and Kentucky guard Reed Sheppard are all expected to go in the range of the top six.

The Portland Trail Blazers and Cleveland Cavaliers have also been mentioned as teams potentially looking to move up in the draft, according to The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor.

The first night of the NBA draft is scheduled for June 26 with the second round set to begin on June 27.


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Aaron Rose

AARON ROSE

Aaron Rose is a Toronto-based reporter covering the Toronto Raptors since 2020.