Re-drafting the 2021 NBA Draft — 4. Jalen Green, Raptors
Jalen Green’s clear offensive talent is more than enough to offset the generally underwhelming nature of his rookie campaign. He couldn’t quite match the season-long impact of other top picks, but Green finished the season as strong as anyone. For the months of March and April, Green averaged 22.6 points on .484/.395/.763 splits. Once he finally settled in, Green looked completely worthy of being the No. 2 pick.
The Raptors shouldn’t feel too bad about getting Green at No. 4 here. In fact, in a vacuum, there’s a strong case to invest in Green over Scottie Barnes long-term. He’s just so gifted as a scorer. With elite-level athleticism and a highly advanced bag of tricks, Green should one day develop into the kind of player who can lead a competitive offense. The Raptors are especially in need of Green’s particular skill set. His ability to create from scratch would really elevate Toronto’s at times stagnant halfcourt offense.
The next step for Green is becoming a passable defender and a more well-rounded ball-handler. He can get to his spots without issue, but the Raptors would probably prefer it if Green could credibly share floor general duties with Fred VanVleet. Green has a long way to go on that front, but he’s too good a scorer to pass up here.