Draft for potential or for now? Or just trade the damn pick.

When I was 17 I used to play pick-up with this guy at an outdoor court in Mississauga. He was OK, nothing great but he was OK. Being a lefty was his real advantage but his jumper was seriously lacking. He had it firmly set in his mind that once me managed to get into a US college, he would just average 8 points a half for a total of 16 points a game and be a lock to get drafted. I always told him to have a backup plan just in case things didn’t pan out, you know, him being only 6′ 0″ and all and me having a superior jumper than him. I lost touch with him, wonder what became of the guy. Reason I’m telling you this is because he looked a lot like Donte Greene who Chad Ford has us drafting at #17. In his mock draft earlier in the day he had us selecting Robin Lopez with the following comment:

Lopez is drawing a lot of comparisons to Anderson Varejao. On a team that needs toughness and rebounding in the middle, he should be a great fit. He’s kind of the anti-Andrea Bargnani.

Everyone loves taking a shot at Bargnani, who can blame them, he’s probably the easiest guy to pick on in the NBA right now and there’s always truth in the criticism received. Anyway, between the two I’d pick Lopez because as much as we need a 6′ 10″ swingman, we need toughness even more. And its not like like Lopez could even come close to picking up the scoring load on this team. The advantage of drafting a hustling big man over of a finesse guy in the draft is that the former can be counted on to do things like rebounding and defense and can help the team immediately. The Raptors would be unlikely to select a player and then wait him out while he develops and brings his game to a meaningful level, especially after Colangelo made it clear yesterday that he’s looking for immediate help.

There’s a bunch of players in the draft that could be good fits for the Raptors. The question will be how much of a “project” is Bryan Colangelo willing to take on and whether hand-holding Bargnani through his 3rd NBA season plus nursing along another rookie is too much to ask for Sam Mitchell. The easier thing would be to just trade the pick as part of the PG package and increase the value of the return product. Sometimes in all the fantasy trade talk that goes on we lose sight of the fact that it’s very hard to make trades in the NBA, let alone ones where you clearly come out on top. So although Maggette/Ford or Ford,#17/#2 might sound logically right, the apprehensiveness of the GM behind those players/picks will probably kill the deal.

The Hawks are close to hiring a new GM – fingers crossed that its Maurizio Gherardini. They might be the most talented team in the East and if the new GM can handle the decisions coming up for them, there’s every indication that the Hawks will be one of those teams that’s neck-and-neck with us next year in the standings.

You know the chances of the Knicks picking Gallinari are high when daddy chimes in and the sun shines on old friendships. He’s going to stick out on that roster more than David Lee.

That was probably a foul on Derek Fisher but it was an excellent no-call. Classic example of why games need to be called differently late in the fourth quarter. Brent Barry was nowhere close to scoring and didn’t deserve a shot at two FTs, let alone three.

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