The Toronto Raptors are officially ready to get the 2022 NBA Draft on the road. Armed with the No. 33 overall pick and a host of talented executives that are laser-focused on finding the next great bench player, Toronto is ready to give their roster a little nip and tuck.
Of course, Toronto won’t be the only team with eyes on that very difficult to pull-off prize. After Toronto arrived way ahead of the schedule following a rapid rebuild, other teams will try to emulate Toronto’s very quick rise to the top tier of the Eastern Conference.
The Raptors will have to sit back as teams with similar designs on improvement move up and down the order thanks to the wonderful world of pre-draft trades. Toronto needs to cross their fingers and hope teams in their tier don’t get significantly better thanks to some wheeling and dealing.
Any of these three possibilities, all of which have made the rounds in the pre-draft rumor mill, coming to fruition would significantly impact Toronto’s chances of replicating their finish from last year. Let’s hope for a calm and reserved draft night out of the rest of the league.
3 NBA Draft rumors that could hurt the Toronto Raptors.
3. Cavaliers trading down and getting another first
The Cavaliers, like Toronto, shattered preseason expectations by remaining in the thick of the playoff picture before a parade of injuries ultimately helped sink their ship. Armed with the No. 14 overall pick that could be used on adding a shooter, the Cavs may opt for a slightly different approach this time around.
Per Mike Scotto of HoopsHype, the Cavaliers could move back in the draft if it means that they can acquire another first-round pick. Considering how wide the third or fourth tier of players is in this draft class, Cleveland pulling right up next to Toronto by reinforcing their present and future would be less than ideal.
The Toronto Raptors must stay ahead of the Cavaliers.
Not only would the Cavaliers land a talented rotation player, but they could get yet another pick in what is widely expected to be an elite 2023 draft class. With Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, and Darius Garland giving the Cavs a great young core, nailing the draft this year and the next only makes the East more challenging for Toronto.
Cleveland was ahead of Toronto for most of the season, showing they have the quality to establish themselves as a fixture in the postseason. The Raptors can’t discard the Cavs as a threat if they nail it on draft night and get more backcourt depth.