Shai Gilgeous-Alexander hasn’t worked out for any teams during the draft process. Now, we may know why. According to Marc Stein, the Toronto Raptors, who do not have pick in Thursday’s draft, are exploring all trade options in hopes of getting one high enough to take Shai, who grew up in nearby Hamilton, Ontario.
According to one league source, no one on Toronto's roster is off limits as the Raptors pursue a top-10 pick https://t.co/AZzCv8fPXD
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) June 18, 2018
Shai has been remarkably quiet for a draft prospect, declining to name the teams he met with at the NBA Combine and limiting media appearances. When asked about it on today’s NBA Draft teleconference, John Calipari said he doesn’t know why Shai has gone silent, but said any team that passes on him is making a mistake.
“He and I just texted back and forth two days ago. We didn’t get into that. I heard that he limited some things. I don’t know what that means. Sometimes it means they have a good idea where he’s going to go. I’ve not talked to his agent about it but the teams love this kid. Again, you’re talking 6’6″, 7-foot wing-span. You’re talking a projection — which is what the NBA is, the future of the league — a projection of where he was at the beginning of our year — he was our ninth-rated player — to where he was at the end of the year. When he played well, we won. To a guy that proved he could shoot it better than everybody thought he could which is why he was in the gym at 7 a.m. working on it. A guy that got stronger physically. Why? Because he was the best we’ve had in the weight room and he started to mature physically.”
Even if the Raptors don’t get to bring Shai home, Sports Illustrated’s Jeremy Woo says the sense around the league is that he won’t fall past the Charlotte Hornets, who have the eleventh pick.
Sense around the league seems to be that Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is unlikely to fall past Charlotte at No. 11. Has been a quiet predraft process for him, but the 8–11 range feels like his sweet spot.
— Jeremy Woo (@JeremyWoo) June 18, 2018
A Shai/Malik Monk backcourt? I’m for it.