No Player Safe as Toronto Aims for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander
The Toronto Raptors have a strong desire for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, apparently. (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Toronto Raptors are in pursuit of a top-10 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, which they want to use to draft Kentucky product Shai Gilgeous-Alexander:

Stein says the Raps are hunting for a top-10 pick, but they might be able to settle for a slightly worse pick than that if they want Gilgeous-Alexander, who is projected to go anywhere from 10 to the mid-teens (the latest Def Pen Hoops mock draft has him at 16).

Being willing to give up any player they have for a late-lottery-to-mid-first-round prospect like Gilgeous-Alexander seems a little bit wild, especially considering the Raptors have two established All-Stars. Perhaps the Raptors see something special in the 19-year-old, however. It also may help that he’s from Ontario, Canada.

Gilgeous Alexander is good; he averaged solid numbers in his lone collegiate season: 14.4 points, 4.1 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game. He also shot an impressive 40.4 percent from 3-point range, but only attempted 57 outside shots in his 37 games. Gilgeous-Alexander has good size for a guard, and his instincts are impressive. He’s probably going to be a good player. Maybe even a great one. The Raptors’ reported willingness to trade DeMar DeRozan or Kyle Lowry for him, though, may say more about the organization than the player. Perhaps Toronto’s front office is tiring of its core and is ready to move onto a rebuild.


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