Five for Raptors' No. 5

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:39 PM ET

TORONTO - With so many needs to address and so few known prospects, the Raptors can go in virtually any direction when their number gets called during Thursday night’s NBA draft.

Trades cannot be dismissed, moving down from the No. 5 slot must be explored and even the unlikely possibility of moving up has to be considered.

“In this type of draft, I don’t think you can say: ‘I’m going to get what I want,’” conceded Ryan Blake, who serves as the NBA’s co-director of scouting.

“This is the kind of draft where you don’t have a sure-fire franchise player other than the two guys at the top (Kyrie Irving and Derrick Williams). It is a very deep draft for role players and guys who can help a team.”

With that in mind, here are five players, in no particular order, worth keeping an eye on, unless Kentucky point guard Brandon Knight falls into Toronto’s lap, which is highly doubtful.

Jonas Valanciunas

A legit big from Lithuania, can play both power forward and centre; next to Enes Kanter, this 6-foot-11 Euro is considered the second best prospect among bigs.

Kemba Walker

A 6-foot combo guard, he’s dynamic and fearless, but he lacks NBA size to defend his position; ability to push the ball should lead to easy baskets for the likes of a DeMar DeRozan.

Bismack Biyombo

No one knows with certainty how old this Congo-born athletic power forward is and no one knows what impact he’ll have; he’s a 6-foot-9 mystery Raps worked out Monday in NYC.

Kawhi Leonard

Kid’s stock keeps rising, a small forward with length who can defend the perimeter; shooting is a concern, but he’s a 6-foot-7 wing who will defend multiple positions.

Jan Vesely

This 6-foot-11 prospect from the Czech Republic is not soft, has length but there are questions about his shooting ability; not many small forwards are close to seven feet.

NBA’s dog days

(Odds released by bodog.ca on who will go fifth overall)

Player Odds

Kemba Walker 1/1

Jonas Valanciunas 9/4

Jan Vesely 3/1

Brandon Knight 11/2


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