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Raptors prepare for No. 33 pick in NBA draft

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TORONTO – Settling into his seat on the rostrum on the Toronto Raptors’ pre-draft media availability Tuesday, basic supervisor Bobby Webster couldn’t assist however open with a quip.

“It’s not like having the No. 4 decide is it?” he stated with a smile.

Not like final yr when the Raptors hit a house run by taking Scottie Barnes with their lottery decide, the thrill has been fairly muted forward of Thursday’s NBA draft in Brooklyn.

Toronto traded its first-round decide earlier this yr and could have only one second-round choice at No. 33 general. The Raptors have had some success with picks in that vary prior to now and are hoping they’ll be capable of do it once more.

“I believe again to among the prior drafts clearly Pascal (Siakam) at 27, I believe OG (Anunoby) was 23, Delon (Wright) at 20, even Malachi (Flynn) at 29, so I believe we’ve at all times operated on this house,” Webster stated. “I believe final yr was most likely the yr that was a bit totally different being within the prime 5.

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“So I believe we’re sort of attuned to (the very fact) there’s going to be guys on this vary, it’s clearly our job to search out them.”

The Orlando Magic have the primary general decide this yr. Auburn’s Jabari Smith Junior, Gonzaga’s Chet Holmgren and Duke’s Paolo Banchero are within the combine to go No. 1.

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Oklahoma Metropolis, Houston, Sacramento and Detroit spherical out the highest 5 within the draft order.

That is the primary time in three seasons that the Raptors have been in a position to do their preparation and participant exercises in Toronto. In 2020, digital conferences had been required because of the COVID-19 pandemic and final yr the crew needed to work out of its short-term dwelling in Tampa, Fla.

Webster stated the Raptors had 12 six-man exercises forward of this yr’s draft, with the previous few days dedicated to conferences and ultimate deliberations.

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“I believe we felt that between 20 and 25 guys (on their most important record), often you’ll have a kind of guys there at 33,” he stated. “In order that’s sort of the duty now. Can we get to that group that we really feel actually comfy with and we’re pretty assured will probably be there at 33.”

A notable early second-round Toronto decide got here in 2006 when the Raptors chosen guard P.J. Tucker at No. 35. The veteran swingman has loved a protracted profession and is coming off a strong season with the Miami Warmth.

One among Toronto’s prime present gamers, all-star guard Fred VanVleet, wasn’t drafted in any respect.

“I believe it’s at all times going to be greatest obtainable (participant),” Webster stated of the crew’s choice course of. “Possibly extra it’s a sort of participant versus place. We all know (we’d like) versatile, defensive (gamers) and if they will make a shot, nice. However these sort of gamers usually.”

Barnes gained the NBA rookie of the yr award after averaging 15.3 factors and seven.5 rebounds a recreation final season. He helped Toronto end fifth within the Jap Convention standings at 48-34 earlier than falling to Philadelphia within the first spherical of the playoffs.

Toronto gave up its first-round decide final February in a deal to accumulate Thaddeus Younger from the San Antonio Spurs.

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The Raptors had two second-round picks final yr. Toronto native Dalano Banton was chosen at No. 46 and David Johnson was subsequent at No. 47.

“I believe the draft is that nice unknown and I believe that’s why individuals spend a lot time (on it),” Webster stated. “As a result of if you will get a extremely good participant within the second spherical that turns into an all-star, the worth there’s mainly immeasurable.”

Webster was additionally requested about current commerce rumours involving Anunoby, however declined to touch upon any hypothesis.

“If we talked about each name we obtained or participant that was mentioned we’d be right here for hours,” he stated through the 15-minute availability on the OVO Athletic Centre. “So I don’t assume it’s all that noteworthy.”

Two Canadian gamers may crack the highest 10 on this yr’s draft.

Montreal’s Bennedict Mathurin and Shaedon Sharpe of London, Ont., are each forecast to be lottery choices in lots of mock drafts.

Additionally Tuesday, the Raptors introduced that guard-forward Svi Mykhailiuk has exercised his US$1.88-million participant choice for the upcoming season.

Mykhailiuk appeared in 56 video games (5 begins) with the Raptors final season and averaged 4.6 factors per recreation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first revealed June 21, 2022.

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Comply with @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

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