What should the Toronto Raptors expect from the 29th overall pick?

(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

The 2020 NBA Draft is fast approaching, and the Toronto Raptors have the 29th overall pick. What kind of players has that pick yielded in the past?

For the Toronto Raptors and their 29th overall pick in this year’s NBA draft, the anticipation is relatively non-existent. Having the second to last pick in the first-round may sound better than say, later picks in the second round, but if we look back at history; it hasn’t been kind to pick 29.

Since the 2010 NBA Draft, the most notable names selected in that slot include Cory Joseph, Dejounte Murray, and Keldon Johnson. All three of them were drafted by the San Antonio Spurs, which seems noteworthy, given their god-tier skills in the development of young talent.

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The rest in between? Daniel Orton, Marquise Teague, Archie Goodwin, Josh Huestis, Chris McCullough, and Dzanan Musa. So yeah, you could say it hasn’t been a strong pool of NBA talent (let alone All-Stars) that have had their name called at 29th overall on draft night.

One could almost argue that the most noteworthy transaction involving the draft selection in recent history was in 2001 and 2002; when the Minnesota Timberwolves forfeited their draft pick twice due to their illegal contract negotiations with former first overall pick Joe Smith.

So, what’s to expect of the Toronto Raptors’ first-round NBA draft selection? What kind of players are being mocked to that spot in the first round in some of the latest publications?

Firstly, it makes sense to anticipate the team walking out of this draft with some rookie talent. While it may not be from that 29th slot directly (we’ll get into that later), the Raptors need to prepare for life without their slew of veterans: Kyle Lowry, Marc Gasol, and Serge Ibaka.

Who might the Toronto Raptors select in the NBA draft?

As far as players that Toronto could be in range for at 29, there’s been a number of guys at what is unsurprisingly and largely the same position mentioned as potential selections:

Kevin O’Connor’s latest mock draft has the Raptors taking Oregon guard Payton Pritchard, freshly off his final and senior season with the Ducks. His NBA comparison has flowed between guys like Shabazz Napier and Jalen Brunson, all the way to Toronto’s own Fred VanVleet.

The ESPN staff has guard Tyrell Terry going to the Raptors at 29th in their latest. He’s a sharpshooting point guard who is also a strong creator and passer on offense. Comparisons for Terry have been seen as high as CJ McCollum, all the way to former NBA champion Jason Terry.

And in Scott Gleeson of USA Today’s latest, Toronto takes Tre Jones, brother of current NBA point guard Tyus Jones who’s coming off of his senior season at Duke University. Particularly adept on the defensive end of the ball, he’s drawn comparisons to the likes of his brother and Cory Joseph.

Noticing a trend yet? Yes, the secret is out. The uncertainty surrounding the Raptors’ future at point guard likely means they’ll be drafting one this year, barring an unexpected, long-term commitment from VanVleet ahead of next week’s quickly approaching free agency.

The potential outlook and ceiling aren’t great, sure. But Masai Ujiri and this Toronto Raptors front office will take the hand that they are dealt and make the most of it–similar to their approach with the Kawhi Leonard trade, which seems relevant to mention resulted in a championship.

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