Toronto Raptors: 2021 NBA Draft Lottery presents unique opportunity

The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)
The first round draft board is seen during the 2019 NBA Draft. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images) /

With the eighth-best offs in the 2021 NBA Draft Lottery, the Toronto Raptors have a 31.9 per cent chance of landing a top-four pick that could turn the fortunes of the team around. 

For many Toronto Raptors fans, the 2020-21 season was forgettable for many but that could all change if the ping pong balls go the team’s way on Tuesday.

Missing out on the playoffs and going through tough stretches could be all worth it when you consider how much this team could use more top-tier calibre players. At the same time, there is the possibility that Toronto gets bumped down if another team overtakes them in the draft lottery.

Call this the Cade Cunningham sweepstakes as he is regarded as the top prospect in the draft. The point guard is a high-level shot maker that fits the mould of what the Raptors look for in a player as he commits to playing a complete game at both ends.

He’s not a player that needs time to get up to speed to the NBA game and could take over for a team that needs a guard to lead them going forward. With the future of Kyle Lowry uncertain, getting Cunningham would be a blessing for Toronto and he would just add to the nucleus of talent that is locked down for a few years.

Toronto Raptors: Best case scenario heading into NBA Draft Lottery

The Raptors have only won the draft lottery once in their history when they got the first overall pick in 2006 and selected Andrea Bargnani.

Of course, the ideal situation is that Toronto gets the first overall pick but getting into the top three also provides other options like Jalen Suggs or Evan Mobley. Suggs would likely fit the mould of what the Raptors could use as a building block for years with Fred VanVleet and Malachi Flynn as a player that prides himself on his defensive play and can produce in transition.

This draft is loaded with talented guards and that would be the best-case scenario for the Raptors as they can focus on finding a centre in free agency. It would be fitting that with VanVleet representing the team, Toronto can get his partner in crime for the foreseeable future.

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Do you think the Raptors can get the top pick in the draft? Who would be the ideal pick? What other options could be considered? Let us know in the comments below.