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Toronto Raptors discuss trade for fourth pick in NBA draft with Houston Rockets: Looking at two possible targets

After letting Nick Nurse go following five seasons as head coach, the Toronto Raptors still haven’t identified a replacement throughout their interview process. But the front office doesn’t need to know who their coach is to discuss trades with other teams regarding draft picks.

For now, the Raptors are set to enter the 2023 NBA Draft with the 13th overall pick, but according to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, Toronto has also discussed a trade with the Houston Rockets, who hold the fourth pick.

“Now, if this was last season, a top-five pick is as good as anything. There are teams (interested). For example, the Raptors have already called. There are teams that still believe that No. 4 is a pretty good pick. And there are teams that are going to want to acquire that pick, but I’m just speaking in the sense of teams that have win-now veterans. What is the calculus about? Do we think, Amen Thompson or Ausar Thompson are going to really push the needle?”

NBA insider Kelly Iko on Toronto Raptors discussing a draft trade with Houston Rockets

It’s unclear exactly who the Raptors may be targeting in a potential trade up, but if they do decide to pull off such a move, their scouts must be convinced they can land another impact player. Being that they plucked 2022 NBA Rookie of the Year with Scottie Barnes at No. 4 just two drafts ago, the Raptors must have a lot of confidence in their ability to identify top talent.

Related: NBA scouts offer blunt assessment of Bronny James’ future in pro basketball

Potential Toronto Raptors NBA draft trade targets

Basketball: Overtime Elite-Cold Hearts at City Reapers
Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After Victor Wembanyama goes to San Antonio, there is no consensus on who New Orleans and Portland may take next, if they even keep their selections at all. But there are plenty of talented players in the 2023 draft class for Toronto to consider if they do manage to execute a big trade with Houston. Here are a couple of possibilities.

  • Amen Thompson, G, Overtime Elite: The Raptors clearly prioritize length. Their current point guard Fred VanVleet is talented, but he doesn’t fit the size bill and is likely headed for free agency this summer. Thompson (6-foot-7) has a ton of athleticism, and he just might have one of the highest ceilings in this draft class. He’d make a lot of sense to trade up for.
  • Ausar Thompson, G/F, Overtime Elite: Either Thompson twin would be a good fit in Toronto. Ausar also oozes athletic ability and possesses a great amount of potential as a two-way player who can be expected to be an immediate contributor wherever he lands.

Related: Houston Rockets draft preview: 5 NBA Draft targets, including Amen Thompson