Toronto Raptors have plenty of options after moving up to fourth pick

Jalen Suggs #1 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs dribbles. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jalen Suggs #1 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs dribbles. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
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Toronto Raptors
Mar 21, 2021; Indianapolis, Indiana, USA; Oklahoma State Cowboys guard Cade Cunningham (2) yells from the sidelines during the second half in the second round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament against the Oregon State Beavers at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Mandatory Credit: Marc Lebryk-USA TODAY Sports /

Toronto Raptors: Trade the pick and other assets to move up in the draft

One of the pleasant side effects of jumping up a few spots in the lottery is that the Raptors have better ammunition to entice a team even higher than them to switch spots.

Let’s first look at the idea of moving from four into the top three. The Raptors would obviously have to package the fourth pick with future draft considerations and/or a young piece or two from the roster to entice any of the rebuilding teams ahead of them.

The Athletic’s Blake Murphy took a deep dive into Raptors trade possibilities now that they have the fourth selection in July. Perhaps the team falls in love with one of the prospects and knows they need to move up from four in order to ensure they get him.

The general consensus is that Cunningham is the prize of the draft after the guard dazzled in his lone season at Oklahoma State. The Arlington, TX native averaged 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a freshman in Stillwater.

The Pistons also found fortune on Tuesday night as they moved up from the second best odds to leapfrog Houston into the first overall pick. After drafting point guard Killian Hayes last year, The Ringer’s Jonathan Tjarks wonders if selecting Cunningham is the right move in the Motor City.

Could the Pistons be persuaded to move down from number one by offering a bevy of picks to beef up their rebuild?

Looking back at Murphy’s piece, it would take a considerable haul for the Dinos to move up three spots on draft night. He believes it would take the fourth pick, along with an unprotected first in 2023 and a top-three protected first in 2025.

Murphy admits that this may even be a light offer. On the surface, I think that is fair value but as the article lays out, Toronto would not be the only team wanting to move up and OKC for one is loaded with far more draft capital than Toronto.

A trade up to the top pick feels unlikely to me given what the Raptors would have to part with. Could they move up to two or three for the right player? That seems more possible and they could still come away with Cunningham.