Toronto Raptors 2014 NBA Draft Preview

2013-14 Record: 48-34 (1st in Atlantic Division)

Lost to Brooklyn in First Round (3-4)

2013-14 Team Stats (points per 100 possessions)

Offensive: 105.8 (9th in NBA)

Defensive: 102.4 (9th in NBA)

Season Recap

Toronto was one of the NBA's surprise teams this past season and they really benefitted from how weak the Eastern Conference was.

The trio of Kyle Lowry, DeMar DeRozan, and Terrence Ross all took their games to the next level and carried the Raptors to the third seed before being ousted by Brooklyn in one of the more entertaining series' of the first round. In the process, the Raptors became one of the league's hottest franchises through a rabid fan base and a GM that loves to drop F-bombs.

But now the Raptors are at a bit of a crossroads with Lowry being an unrestricted free agent who will demand a good amount of money on the open market, and they're going to have to be smart with their draft picks to bolster their roster. Who should they take?

Draft Picks

Round 1

Pick 20

Toronto's wing is set with Ross and DeRozan, and Jonas Valanciunas proved to be an above-average center. If they want to find a power forward to compete with Amir Johnson, but with Latvian Kristaps Porzingis withdrawing his name from the draft, prospects are thin.

They're likely to trade this pick and move back a few spots, but they'll keep it if they can grab Swiss big man Clint Capela or Bosnian Jusuf Nurkic.

The Raptors could also go after a point guard as insurance with both Vasquez and Lowry in free agency. Anyone they pick would be a stretch - with the exception of Toronto-native Tyler Ennis if he were to fall. If Ennis isn't there, they could stretch for UConn's Shabazz Napier.

Round Two

Pick 7 (37th overall)

There are a lot more point guard options available at this spot in the draft, which is where they'll look here. Deonte Burden from Nevada will probably be the best one left on the board, but they might look for more of a spark-plug off the bench with Russ Smith or Jahii Carson.

Pick 29 (59th overall)

If Toronto drafts someone here who ends up making the roster, it'll be a success - so look for them to take the best player available, regardless of position. Melvin Ejim, a small forward from Iowa State, is the most likely candidate, but they'd love if his teammate, 6'6" point guard DeAndre Kane, fell to them.

Current Roster

G: Dwight Buycks

G: DeMar DeRozan

G: Julyan Stone

F/G: John Salmons

F: Landry Fields

F: Chuck Hayes

F: Amir Johnson

F: Steve Novak

F: Terrence Ross

F/C: Tyler Hansbrough

C: Jonas Valanciunas

Free Agents

G: Nando De Colo

G: Kyle Lowry

G: Greivis Vasquez (restricted)

F: Patrick Patterson

Who should the Raptors pick? What do they have to do to take that next step? Tweet your thoughts to @brauf33.

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