The Raptors own the No. 9 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA draft, but the team doesn’t expect to land a player who can provide immediate help at that slot, writes Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. “I don’t know if it’s a draft where we can go and get somebody who will impact our team right away,” GM Masai Ujiri said. “And we have to take that . . . and look at it a different way. Is it a player that’s three, four years down the road and that player has a high upside? We have to look out for the organization that way.”
The team also holds the No. 27 overall pick and Ujiri is pleased with the opportunities owning two first-rounders will provide, Smith adds. “You continue to narrow and narrow [list of possible suggestions] and when you have a bunch of guys you have different options,” Ujiri said. “You can look at trading the pick, you can look at drafting a guy who doesn’t come right away, you can look at a player you can draft and develop slowly. We just feel it’s a great position for us to be in.”
Here’s more from the Atlantic Division:
- The Sixers have a group workout scheduled for Wednesday with Trevor Cooney (Syracuse), Quenton DeCosey (Temple), Alex Hamilton (Louisiana Tech), Brice Johnson (North Carolina), Devonta Pollard (Houston) and Kyle Wiltjer (Gonzaga), the team announced via press release.
- Former Arizona big man Kaleb Tarczewski will work out for the Celtics on Wednesday, Jeff Goodman of ESPN.com relays (on Twitter).
- The Raptors held a group workout on Friday that included potential lottery picks Jakob Poeltl and Skal Labissiere, the team announced.
- While many have suggested that the Sixers trade away a number of their big men, Bob Cooney of The Philadelphia Inquirer argues that Philly should instead look to build around Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor. The scribe cites the small sample size of pairing Noel alongside Okafor, as well as Embiid’s in jury history as reason for his stance.