);
Toronto Raptors

What do the Toronto Raptors need to target in the draft?

The Toronto Raptors have a busy offseason ahead of them but it all starts with the 2020 NBA Draft, slated for Nov. 18.

The Raptors have two picks in this year's draft, selecting at pick Nos. 29 and 59 overall. It's their first time having multiple picks in the same draft since 2016 where they selected Jakob Poeltl (No. 9) and Pascal Siakam (No. 27).

After only having one pick in last year's draft (Dewan Hernandez, No. 29 overall) and no picks in 2018, it's been a while since Toronto has had the opportunity to reload their roster through draft selections.

What do the Raptors need in the 2020 NBA draft?

Backup guard

This is a safety net incase the Raptors do not retain Fred VanVleet in free agency.

MORE: Evaluating VanVleet ahead of free agency | Free agent destinations for VanVleet

Should VanVleet leave, Toronto loses their starting shooting guard and leading scorer from this past postseason. The Raptors would have to fill the void of a go-to scoring option, premier playmaker and on-ball perimeter defender. While their sixth man Norman Powell would likely fill in his place in the starting lineup with undrafted rookie Terence Davis sliding up the depth chart behind him to replace some of that output, it would be good to get some insurance.

This could also be a player that veteran leader Kyle Lowry could groom for the future.

First round players to keep an eye on

Malachi Flynn, San Diego State: Four-year college player ready to make an impact immediately. Established point guard skillset, solid shooter, takes pride on defensive end.

Desmond Bane, TCU: Another four-year college player that can help out right away. Shooting guard with consistent stroke, going 43.3% from 3 during his time at TCU.

Theo Maledon, France: Playmaking point guard who's game still needs some polishing, but could thrive under Lowry and the Raptors development. Mentored by future Hall of Famer Tony Parker.

Tre Jones, Duke: One of the most solid two-way guards in this draft class. Poised playmaker and scorer, plays hard-nosed defence. Already claims to study film on Lowry and VanVleet, projected to Raptors in our latest Mock Draft.

Second round players to keep an eye on

Markus Howard, Marquette: Prolific scorer that could give Toronto a microwave off the bench. Averaged over 25 points per game in two of four seasons at Marquette.

Peyton Pritchard, Oregon: Four successful seasons at Oregon as a floor general and leader. Averaged 20.5 points and 5.5 assists per game last season shooting 41.5% from 3.

Backup big

There's a chance the Raptors could lose their centre rotation this offseason with both Serge Ibaka and Marc Gasol entering unrestricted free agency.

MORE: Free agency destinations for Ibaka | Free agency destinations for Gasol

The combined 53.4 minutes, 22.9 points and 14.5 rebounds per game for Toronto from last season doesn't even begin to describe the type of void that would be left behind should they both leave. Ibaka and Gasol both added a veteran presence to the locker room, anchored the defence and kept things flowing on offence.

Add to it that homegrown reserve centre Chris Boucher is a restricted free agent, and the Raptors could lose all three of their centres. If no team gives Boucher an offer that the Toronto wouldn't match, he'd likely see an uptick in minutes if neither Ibaka nor Gasol return. The Raptors should be active in free agency to find an interim replacement for all of the above. You can also expect them to try and develop another prospect through one of their two draft picks.

First round players to keep an eye on

Isaiah Stewart, Washington: 19-year-old, big and physical forward/centre that brings toughness and intensity. Averaged 17.0 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a freshman.

Vernon Carey Jr., Duke: Brings a combination of size and athleticism. 19-year-old centre that averaged 17.8 points and 8.8 rebounds per game as a freshman at Duke. Five-star high school recruit.

Udoka Azubuike, Kansas: Four-year player with a physical presence in the paint. 7-footer that averaged a double-double with two blocks per game in his final season at Kansas.

Daniel Oturu, Minnesota: Projected late first, early second-rounder but could be worth reaching for as one of the best big men in the Big Ten last season averaging 20 points and 11 boards per game. Physical, yet mobile - good energy on defence with a well-rounded game on offence.

Second round players to keep an eye on

Xavier Tillman Sr., Michigan State: Undersized centre/forward at 6-foot-8, but thrives on the defensive end and on the glass. Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year last season.

Nick Richards, Kentucky: Never quite lived up to the hype of a top-20 high school player in the country but showed improvement by his third season at Kentucky. Athleticism and mobility at 7-feet make him an enticing late-round selection.

Scorer off the bench

The Raptors ranked 20th in the league, just outside the bottom 10, in bench scoring last season, averaging 34.0 points per game. When you consider that Norman Powell and Serge Ibaka - one player that could potentially move into the starting lineup and the other that may not be with the team - account for almost all of that, Toronto will need to find an answer.

There isn't a clear option to step in and fill a bench-scoring role on the current roster, although Davis and Boucher (should he stay in Toronto) could certainly each chip in there. That's where the Raptors could look to target a bucket-getter in the draft, perhaps parlaying that with one of the needs above.

Guard scorers

Tyrese Maxey, Kentucky: One of the best pure scorers in this draft class. A quick and athletic shot-maker who can score from all over the floor. Unlikely he falls to pick No. 29, but a prime option for Toronto should he still be on the board.

Tyrell Terry, Stanford: Another player projected to go sooner than the Raptors first-round pick, but should he be available, he'd be a great get. A true score-first point guard that can score with the ball in his hands or off screens as a shooter.

Cole Anthony, UNC: Explosive, volume scorer that struggled prior to an injury in his only season at UNC, but has the skills and potential to be a long-time bench scorer in the league.

Markus Howard, Marquette: As mentioned in the guard section above, could be a late steal in the second round in terms of bench scoring.

Foward/centre scorers

Vernon Carey Jr., Duke: As mentioned in the bigs section above, could be a great pickup as a centre that looks to scorer inside and out.

Killian Tillie, Gonzaga: Stretch-big that can score out of the post or as a 3-point shooter. Shot over 40% from 3 in three of his four seasons at Gonzaga, averaging almost 14 points per game this past season.

Lamar Stevens, Penn State: Stevens could slip through the cracks and be available for Toronto at pick No. 59. The four-year forward averaged double figures in all four seasons at Penn State, averaging as much as 19.9 points per game as a junior.

Jordan Nwora, Louisville: Can fill it up from all three levels of the court, averaging over 17 points per game in two of his three seasons at Louisville. Would be surprising to see him fall to No. 59 but his draft projection varies among the second round.

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

More from NBA.com

dillon-brooks-nbae-gettyimages
Brooks commits to Canadian National Team
Gilbert McGregor
amile-arena-ftr.jpg
Fasts facts on Raptors temporary home arena
Scott Rafferty
harden-wall-nbae-gettyimages
Can Harden and Wall extend Houston's playoff streak?
Gilbert McGregor
#NBAOpeningWeek
Biggest storylines to watch from opening week
Benyam Kidane and Yash Matange
lebron-doncic-010420-ftr-getty.jpg
Which Christmas Day game are you looking forward to?
NBA.com Staff
baynes-112320-ftr-getty.jpg
What Baynes brings to the Raptors
Scott Rafferty
More News