Nick Nurse
Photo: Cole Burston/Getty Images

It was a disappointing end to the NBA season ultimately for the Toronto Raptors, as they were unable to defend their championship. However, there is no question that the Raptors remain one of the most exciting teams in the Eastern Conference.

It was revealed this weekend that Marc Gasol will be moving back to his native Spain to end his career back in Europe, which means that there will be extra emphasis on the Raptors to find a player that can replace what the Spaniard brought to the franchise in his short stay with them. However, which players could the Raptors target in the NBA Draft if they want to be among the favourites with Caesars sportsbook to win the NBA Championship next season?

Desmond Bane

One of the hottest prospects that will be available in the NBA Draft this November will be Desmond Bane, and there are already a number of franchises that are weighing up making a move for the 22-year-old. The Raptors have made a habit out of bringing in older draft options, and they have achieved success with that method.

You only need to look at the impact that was made by Fred VanVleet and Norman Powell in the post-season to see why Bane could be a good fit for the Raptors. Bane was impressive last season, as he shot 44.2% from beyond the arc, and he has already talked glowingly about the Raptors. Recently, he spoke about how impressed he was by Nick Nurse and about how much he loves their style of play.

Aleksej Pokusevski

The Raptors could instead look to another European player to fill the void left by Gasol, and there aren’t many more intriguing propositions than 7 ft tall Serbian Aleksej Pokusevski. Certainly, this would be somewhat of a gamble for the Raptors, but they have made a habit of getting it right more often than not when it comes to deals off the court.

The Serbian would seemingly fit in straight away with the philosophy at the Raptors, as he is efficient at both ends of the court. He excels in offensive but is also a knowledgeable player when it comes to defensive plays too. He would be able to give more protection at the rim for the Raptors and is also agile across the court, which is something that most players of his size are not.

Isaiah Joe

Toronto have reportedly also interviewed Isaiah Joe during the summer, and that means that they could be set to make a move for the Arkansas Razorbacks player. The 21-year-old guard is another of the players that the Raptors will be looking at during the Draft, as he excels at shooting from three-point range. In fact, there were only three players at college level that averaged more than Joe last season.

He averaged 3.6 per game last season, and also average nearly 17 points per game. However, it is likely that there have also been a number of other franchises that have also spoken to Joe, which means that there could be a big decision looming.