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Raptors hosting pre-draft workouts, Edey among Canadians featured

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With the NBA draft inching closer, targets at picks 19 and 31 appear to be getting clearer for the Toronto Raptors.

The franchise announced it’ll be hosting pre-draft workouts on Tuesday, with a trio of Canadians, headlined by Purdue’s Zach Edey, being featured.

Edey, 22, is coming off a senior season averaging 25.2 points and 12.2 rebounds while propelling the Boilermakers to their first Final Four since 1980.

Despite a decorated college career, winning National Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons, the seven-foot-four Toronto native is one of the hardest players to project in this upcoming draft.

His old-school, back-to-the-basket game and slow-footedness have at least some NBA talent evaluators skeptical of his chances to succeed at the next level. His offensive skillset ought to translate, but can it outshine his anticipated struggles on defence?

Depending on who else is available when the Raptors are selecting, bringing Edey back north of the border could make sense. Toronto has little frontcourt depth, and as multiple Jakob Poeltl-less stints showed last season, things get dire quickly without a solid rim presence.

The other Canadians to join Edey at OVO Atheltic Centre for pre-draft workouts will be Emanuel Miller and Tyrese Samuel.

Emanuel, older brother of Minnesota Timberwolves 2023 second-round pick Leonard Miller, is coming off a five-year collegiate career split between Texas A&M and TCU. The forward from Scarborough, Ont. averaged 15.8 points, 6.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in his senior year.

Samuel, 24, spent four years with Seton Hall before transferring to Florida for his senior season. The Montreal forward averaged 13.9 points and 7.4 rebounds on 56.4-per-cent shooting from the field.

Joining the Canadians for workouts will be Jahmir Young (guard, Maryland), Joseph Girard III (guard, Clemson) and Keion Brooks Jr (forward, Washington).

The draft is June 26-27.

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