NBA Draft 2021

2021 NBA Draft: Who could the Toronto Raptors target with their two second-round picks?

By now, you probably know that the Toronto Raptors own the No. 4 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft.

Will they go with Gonzaga star point guard Jalen Suggs as a potential Kyle Lowry successor? Or what about rolling the dice on G League Ignite two-way forward Jonathan Kuminga?

There are a handful of different scenarios that could play out for the Raptors at No. 4, and they've all been covered to some extent. But it's easy to forget that Toronto also owns back-to-back picks in the second round.

Selecting at Nos. 46 and 47, the Raptors have two opportunities to strike a diamond in the rough, looking for the right prospects to grow under their renowned player development program.

Take a look at a few players at each position who Toronto could target with its two second-rounders.

Guards

Quentin Grimes, Houston

The 2021 American Athletic Conference Player of the Year, Houston junior Grimes was the leader of one of college basketball's best teams this past season.

Averaging 17.8 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.4 steals per game, Grimes showcased his ability to do a little bit of everything to help his team win games. Most impressively, the 21-year-old shot 40.3 percent from 3-point range on a high-volume clip (8.3 attempts per game), shooting the lights out on nearly 250 3-point attempts in a single season.

We saw a glimpse of that with his standout performance at the Draft Combine, going off for 27 points while shooting 7-for-12 from deep in his second scrimmage after putting together a sound and efficient 12 points, six boards and three assists in his first scrimmage.

Measuring at 6-foot-5, 205 pounds with a 6-foot-8 wingspan at the Draft Combine, Grimes has the size and strength to hold his own at the next level and would be worth a flier as a potential reserve guard at this point in the draft.

Daishen Nix, G League Ignite

Nix was the 20th-ranked player in the ESPN Top 100 for the class of 2020, electing to forgo offers from top-tier schools like Arizona, Gonzaga, Kansas and UCLA to partake in the G League development program's inaugural season.

Nix was good but not great during his first professional season. While he averaged 8.8 points, 5.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds per game, his offensive skill set needs polishing. He shot 38.4 percent from the field and 17.6 percent from 3, limiting him as a scoring threat. But his passing skills are advanced and he can run an offence, knowing when to get certain players on his team touches.

He got into better physical shape ahead of the Draft Combine, measuring at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, but he still struggled to find any sort of a scoring rhythm against his peers. Nix will need more time in the G League to develop, but the impressive Raptors 905 staff could help bring out the best in the former five-star prospect.

Wings

Aaron Wiggins, Maryland

At 6-foot-5 and 190 pounds with nearly a 6-foot-10 wingspan, Wiggins made up one-half of one of the best defensive backcourts in college basketball last season. He is quick and explosive, athletic and energetic, and plays with an attitude that would be well-suited under head coach Nick Nurse.

He has an impressive offensive package with the ability to create his own offence off the dribble, whether it be to attack the rim or pull up for a jump shot. And when he gets downhill, get out of the way.

He's a streaky shooter, but he shot a career-best 44.6 percent from the field last season while bringing his 3-point clip up to a respectable 36 percent.

Improving his averages every year over the course of three seasons, the 22-year-old went from Big Ten Sixth Man of the Year in 2019-20 to a player averaging 14.5 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game for an overachieving Maryland team in his final season.

A strong showing at the G League Select Camp earned Wiggins a promotion to the Draft Combine, where he impressed enough to keep his name in the 2021 NBA Draft pool. He's a name to watch in the second round.

Herb Jones, Alabama

Jones feels like one of those prospects who will fall in the draft and if he lands in the right situation, after a year or so in the league, everyone will wonder why.

The Raptors could be that right situation for the prospect who doubled as the SEC's Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year.

As a 6-foot-8 forward with a 7-foot wingspan, Jones has the height and length to defend forwards and bigs, but he's athletic and quick enough laterally to switch out onto the perimeter and defend guards. That type of versatility will surely have him on the radar of Toronto's front office as one of the best defenders in this entire draft class.

His offensive shortcomings are what makes him a second-rounder, as Jones doesn't have many tools when it comes to scoring. He's solid as a cutter, but he won't create his own shot. He did knock down 20 3s at a 35 percent clip last season after only making 14 3s total in his first two seasons at Alabama, but that perimeter jumper will need some work to make him an asset on offence.

His defence will be his calling card at the next level, it just comes down to if he can do enough offensively to prevent opposing defences from abandoning him.

AJ Lawson, South Carolina

The Raptors have a history of giving Canadians a second look, and Lawson (Brampton, ON) is well worth it in this range in the second round.

Lawson was so impressive at the G League Select Camp that he earned a promotion to the Draft Combine. His freakish athleticism was on full display during the strength and agility portion, registering impressive numbers like a 41-inch max vertical leap, a 33-inch standing vertical and the fastest three-quarter court sprint in his class at 2.98 seconds.

AJ Lawson's Diary: Fighting to make a new chapter | Life-changing pre-draft process

Coming off of a strong junior season at South Carolina where he earned All-SEC Second Team honours, Lawson averaged 16.6 points, 4.1 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 35.0 percent from 3. He also shot well in front of scouts at the Draft Combine, bolstering his draft stock a bit.

As a nearly 6-foot-7 shooting guard with above-average athleticism, high energy on defence, some simple shot creation skills and a smooth 3-point jumper, Lawson could be second-round gold if he reaches his full potential at the next level.

Bigs

Neemias Queta, Utah State

Queta has become somewhat of a consensus potential diamond in the rough in the second round. He measured at 7-feet tall with a 7-foot-4 wingspan, both of which were the largest at the Draft Combine. Add to it that he is 248 pounds, and his NBA-ready body will have no problem at the next level.

Queta was incredibly productive as a junior at Utah State this past season, averaging a double-double of 14.9 points and 10.1 rebounds per game to go with an impressive 3.3 (!) blocks and 1.1 steals. He also displayed some much-improved passing chops, averaging a career-best 2.7 assists, flashing the ability to make some things happen for his teammates out of the post.

He's a bit slow laterally on the perimeter, but he's far from a liability. He's a physical presence in the paint as a shot blocker and rim protector, and he crashes the glass with an attitude.

The Raptors could use a big man prospect with one of these two picks, and Queta could be the perfect development project.

Jericho Sims, Texas

Playing behind potential lottery pick Kai Jones (among other prominent Texas bigs during his four-year tenure), Sims hasn't drawn all that much attention as an NBA prospect. But as an uber-athletic 6-foot-10 center with a 7-foot-3 wingspan, he could be worth the low-risk, high-reward potential in the second round.

Sims is exclusively a rim-running leaper, but his agility makes him fairly switchable on the perimeter, and his 44.5-inch max vertical gives him potential as a lob target in the dunker's spot.

He's an extremely raw and unpolished prospect for a 22-year-old senior, but the combination of that size, length, speed and athleticism makes him worthy of an opportunity to prove himself at the next level.

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

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