Beyond the Match: The Toronto Raptors secure the number four pick in the 2021 NBA draft

The top four pick offers the Raptors a lot of flexibility and a chance at a franchise talent

The Toronto Raptors. (Flickr/ Adam Bailey)

The 2020-2021 NBA season is one the Toronto Raptors would like to put behind them.

As this season went along it seemed to bring more heartache and bad luck for the team and fans. The finale of the season had the Raptors missing the playoffs for the first time in eight years. 

The Raptors were not able to play their home games in Toronto this season due to the border restrictions with the COVID-19, and they had to relocate and play their home games in Tampa, Florida. 

This relocation meant the Raptors played all their games on the road. Sure, there were some Raptors fans who lived in Florida or close enough to make the trip to come and cheer for their favourite team, but most of the fans that showed up came to cheer for the other team. 

The team had a slow start to the season and when it seemed like they were becoming the strong team people knew they could be, they were hit with a COVID-19 outbreak that put three starters and a huge chunk of the coaching staff out. 

The news of the team receiving the top four pick is the type of news Raptors fans and the organization wants to hear and one of the lights at the end of the tunnel. 

Receiving the top four pick puts the Raptors in a great flexible position. They can add one of the top four prospects to a team with a great core that’s locked in for the next few years, and they can use the pick to add a superstar talent to the team. They can do this while adding more depth to the bench and making a run for a top spot in the Eastern conference. 

With a loaded draft where the top four guys have a high level of talent and can bring good changes to any of the top four teams that have the chance to draft them, the question of who the Raptors should draft on July 29 remains in the air. 

The unanimous top four prospects are Cade Cunningham, Evan Mobley, Jalen Green, and Jalen Suggs. Since the Detroit Pistons won the lottery and received the number one overall pick, there is a high chance that they pick Cade Cunningham since he’s expected to be the number one pick. 

The remaining order of the top four teams have the Houston Rockets picking at number two, Cleveland Cavaliers at number three, and the Toronto Raptors at number four. 

There is a lot of noise and analysis of Suggs being picked by the Raptors at number four. He offers “tough” defence, athleticism, a shooting that will only improve once he enters the league, and more

Analysts have him fitting well in the Raptors system with the type of offence and defence that he provides. Scenarios of him making a play with the core of Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet and OG Anunoby are already being fantasized. 

There is also a case for the Raptors picking Jalen Green since some mock drafts have him being taken at number four as well. 

Green has reportedly shown a lot of growth in his lone season in the G League. He would likely provide the Raptors with consistent scoring. Green is a player with lots of great qualities, and some see him being the “crunch-time go-to scorer.” 

Regardless of who the Raptors pick at number four, they will be getting a great player who will have the chance to be in a great organization. Any of these top four guys would be a great talent addition to this Raptors team, and they all have the chance to be great players in the NBA.