For just the fourth time in franchise history (excluding years where they didn't have a pick at all), the team will be selecting outside of the lottery. A 48-34 regular-season record got the Raptors into the NBA playoffs but out of contention for any of the top-tier talent in this years draft.
That doesn't mean that there aren't any gems to be had, though. The likes of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker won't be on Toronto's radar (barring a blockbuster trade), but in the bottom half of the first round, there will be several prospects that could end up being quality role players for a team looking to continue their rise in the Eastern Conference.
Striking gold in the second round could be tricky. Do the names Uros Slokar, Remon van de Hare, DeeAndre Hulett and Tyson Wheeler ring a bell? They're all former second-round picks who never amounted to anything in a Raptors uniform.
According to Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated, nearly one-third of the second-round picks made in the last 10 years (98 out of 300) have not played in the NBA. You'd think 90 of those botched picks would have come from the Raptors with the luck they've had.
Marc Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies (No. 48 in 2007), Paul Millsap of the Atlanta Hawks (No. 47 in 2006) and Goran Dragic of the Phoenix Suns (No. 45 in 2008) were all passed on in the opening round of their respective drafts. With the proper scouting and attention to detail, the Raptors could be fortunate enough to end their cold spell and snag a future All-Star of their own with one of their final two picks.
There isn't a sense of desperation on the part of GM Masai Ujiri to hit any one of his picks out of the park. He certainly doesn't want to waste them, but with the Raptors slowly moving in the right direction, all Ujiri needs to do is add complementary pieces to the young core he already has.