The Toronto Raptors had their suspect guard depth exposed by the 76ers in the playoffs. The fake Raptors draft scientists are hard at work trying to figure out how Masai Ujiri is going to solve this problem with one of the first picks in the second round of the draft.
Finding a guard is harder for Ujiri and Toronto than most NBA teams. Toronto’s style of play places a heavy emphasis on versatility and perimeter defense. No amount of scoring prowess from their college days can make up for being a complete non-factor on the defensive end.
The Raptors need to find someone they can trust to eventually become a quality defender on the ball while raining down 3 points. Going down to Durham and taking one of the best players from Mike Krzyzewski’s final team could help the Raptors go a little further as they rebuild for the future.
The folks at Tankathon have the Raptors using the No. 33 pick on Duke sniper Trevor Keels. Despite having a very volatile season at Duke, Keels’ physical tools and potential to evolve into a soft shooter should help the Raptors add more depth.
NBA Mock Draft: Masai Ujri can Trevor Keels at the Toronto Raptors.
At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Keels is built like a tight end. This plague on the defensive side has been complemented by a solid downhill speed and physicality that will bother smaller opponents. That could make him a perfect fit in the Toronto diet. As a starter and sixth man, Keels played a huge role in Duke’s offense.
Keels shares a lot of similarities with Thunder wing Lu Dort. Keels, who just declared himself for the draft, has some nice mechanics on his jumper and is shaping up to be a solid shooter at the next level. He can work on his offensive game a bit with the 905 Raptors before exploding as a Year 2 contributor.
Keels’ efficiency was less than ideal, as he only made 42% of his shots and 31% of his 3-pointers despite his shooting being one of his best assets. With uncertain passing results and a lack of exceptional athletic ability compared to his peers, Keels’ cap might not be as high as everyone hopes.
With Svi Mykhailiuk out of rotation early in the season, Toronto lacked that perimeter spark plug that can come in to hit a few 3-pointers and be a reliable presence on the wing. Keels might not last until the second round, but he would be a great addition to the team if he slips up a bit.