Every year, the basketball world is buzzing by the time the NBA Draft rolls around. Since the end of the 2021 NBA season, the Toronto Raptors’ fanbase has been excited to see what would happen with the Raptors’ picks.
The 2021 NBA Draft handed the Raptors their first fourth overall pick since 2003, when they selected Hall of Fame’r and Raptor icon Chris Bosh. In addition, the Raptors had back-to-back selections in the second round, picking at 46 and 47.
After Thursday’s draft we decided to analyze everything that the Raptors were able to acquire. With so much divide in fan emotions, why not break down the basics of the Raptors’ picks in the 2021 NBA Draft?
Raptors’ Picks: Scottie Barnes
The Raptors turned heads with their fourth overall pick in the Draft when they selected versatile forward Scottie Barnes.
This choice was a shock to Raptors fans and the NBA world for a few reasons. Firstly, fans were hyped to potentially receive Jalen Suggs, a highly rated prospect out of Gonzaga University. He had been the projected fourth overall pick by many NBA experts, so Raptors’ fans had their own expectations entering the draft.
Secondly, Suggs was picked to go fourth overall by almost all NBA Draft analysts and experts. It was quite the surprise to everyone involved in the professional basketball realm when the Raptors picked Scottie Barnes instead of Suggs.
Barnes, a freshman out of Florida State University, has the potential to bring both defensive and offensive versatility to the Raptors. At six-foot-nine inches tall and with a seven-foot-four wingspan, Barnes possesses a length, athleticism, and upside that was hard for the Raptors to pass up on.
Raptors’ Head Coach Nick Nurse was quick to justify the pick, citing Barnes’ skills, energy, and character as a perfect fit for the organization.
Ratpors’ Picks: Dalano Banton
The second round of the 2021 NBA Draft saw the Raptors select back-to-back players at 46th and 47th.
With their first pick in the second round, they selected Dalano Banton. Banton stands at six-foot-nine inches tall, and hails from Rexdale, Ontario. He’s the first Canadian in franchise history to be selected by the Raptors.
A redshirt freshman out of the University of Nebraska, Banton transferred from Western Kentucky University after his freshman season. He averaged 9.6 points and 5.9 rebounds per game in the 2020-21 season with Nebraska.
Long, versatile, and with strong rebounding ability, Banton is a skilled guard that’s able to fill in the point guard position when needed. He’s also strong on the defensive end, using his size to his advantage in order to combat bigger bodies.
… He isn’t afraid to crash the glass against bigger bodies, and when he gets a defensive rebound, because of his tight handle and his strong decision-making, he can instantly start a one-man fastbreak.Sportsnet.ca, 2021
We’ll be on the lookout for Dalano Banton this coming season, as we’re sure we’ll be seeing him with the team or dropped into the Raptors 905 rotation.
Raptors’ Picks: David Johnson
With their final pick in the second round, the Raptors selected University of Louisville sophomore David Johnson at 47th.
Standing at six-foot-five, Johnson has exceptional size for a guard, which he can use to his advantage against smaller opponents.
“Because he’s played basically his entire life in the backcourt, he’s managed to use his size to his advantage against smaller guards and that is something that he should be able to continue to do at the NBA level.Sportsnet.ca, 2021
Johnson also has positional experience, having played point guard at Louisville for a short time. He averaged 12.6 points and 5.8 rebounds per game during his sophmore year.
A solid defender that can also see the court well, the Raptors are looking at Johnson as a developmental prospect that could bring some excitement to the Summer League roster.
With so much buzz surrounding the Raptors’ picks in this years NBA Draft, it’s nice to breakdown what these prospects can potentially bring to the organization.
With Scottie Barnes, Dalano Banton, and David Johnson, the Raptors received a solid group of young talent. We’ll be on the lookout to see how these guys develop, and what they’re able to bring to pre-season basketball.
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