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Raptors Take Former No. 1 Prospect in Latest NBA Mock Draft



Maybe it’s time for the Toronto Raptors to swing for the fences.

As the roster sits now, Toronto has an exciting young core of Scottie Barnes, Immanuel Quickley, RJ Barrett, and Gradey Dick leading the organization into a new era. It’s an offensively dynamic group that will probably need another All-Star caliber player to become real contenders down the road.

So how does one go about adding another superstar?

How about taking a chance on Ron Holland? The former No. 1 high school prospect who spent last season with the G League Ignite and won’t turn 19 until after this year’s NBA Draft.

CBS’s latest mock draft thinks there’s a chance Toronto takes the 6-foot-8 wing with the No. 6 pick when the draft rolls around this summer.

“The trajectory and growth Holland showed this season as a consistent force for G League Ignite passing the ball, making plays and playing big with his athleticism should have NBA teams excited about his prospects,” Kyle Boone wrote. “This could be the best player to come out of the draft if he hits — and Toronto gets him at a reasonable price here.”

Holland is a dynamic athlete who is at his best attacking the hoop and getting out in transition. He averaged 19.5 points per game in 29 appearances for the Ignite this past year and at times showed flashes of being an impressive playmaker for his size.

It just never quite came together completely for Holland who shot just 23.7% from three-point range and averaged 3.2 turnovers per game with a negative assist-to-turnover ratio.

Defensively, there’s a lot to like, though. Holland has the size to be a very good wing defender who should only add strength as he grows into his body. He averaged nearly a block and 2.4 steals per game and is comfortable switching up or down the positional spectrum.

There’s a chance Holland never lives up to his high school pedigree, but considering his age and physical ability, it might be a risk Toronto thinks is worth taking.

No. 19: Tyler Kolek (Marquette)

If Toronto wants to take the risk on Holland early in the draft, a safer pick like Tyler Kolek makes a lot of sense a little later.

Marqutte’s 6-foot-3 point guard isn’t going to wow scouts with his athletic ability or physical traits, but when it comes to collegiate production there were few players better. He averaged 15.3 points and 7.7 assists per game as a fourth-year senior and has been a 39.3% three-point shooter for the past two seasons.

“Love his competitive edge and swagger he plays with, and his shooting and passing have dramatically improved during his time at Marquette,” Boone wrote.

Kolek was an adequate defender in college, but his lack of size is going to make him an easy target for opposing offenses at the next level.

Considering Toronto’s need for a backup point guard, a high-floor player like Kolek certainly makes sense. He’s not going to be the most exciting prospect, but the Raptors have found success with players like Kolek before and later in the first round a safe pick isn’t a bad way to go.

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